Korean children’s content goes global on Google platforms

By Sohn Ji-young
  • Published : Sept 29, 2016 - 16:19
  • Updated : Sept 29, 2016 - 16:29

South Korean children’s content is finding its way to overseas audiences through YouTube and Google Play, thanks to the platforms’ ability to reach viewers without traditional limitations such as allocated TV time slots.

“New distribution platforms like YouTube and Google Play have fundamentally changed the way we bring our animations to our audience,” Lee Jong-yoon, a manager from Iconix Co. -- the creator of beloved homemade animations such as Pororo the Penguin -- said during a media event organized by Google Korea on Thursday.

“Whereas we had no other option but to air our content on specific time slots on broadcast TV channels in the past, new platforms like YouTube lets us easily reach viewers around the world without limitations,” he said.

Iconix manager Lee Jong-yoon (left), SmartStudy Vice President Park Hyun-woo (center) and Bluepin CEO Kim Jung-soo pose during a media event hosted by Google Korea in Seoul, Thursday. (Google Korea)

The hundreds of apps based on Iconix’s animations also directly engage users with their favorite characters, further boosting interest in the original animations, Lee explained.

While Google Play uses specialized categories and search algorithms to link users to apps that spark their individual interest, YouTube channels help Korean animations reach and appeal to global users without borders, according to Google Korea.

The two platforms can also synergize to better promote their clients’ content, said Chung Jae-hoon, who manages YouTube’s partnership with children’s content providers in Korea and China.

“Apps featuring Korean characters, made available through Google Play, can push users to check out the respective animations’ YouTube channels, and vice versa, raising user loyalty,” Chung said.

Bluepin, which operates Kids World -- a mobile app offering more than 20,000 educational animations and content for children -- said it has globalized its services through Google Play while utilizing YouTube to market its featured content.

Smart Study, the developer of educational content based on Pinkfong the fox, said it has been displaying ads on its apps to link users back to its promotional YouTube channels.

By Sohn Ji-young (