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Naver aims to create massive ecosystem for online cartoons

South Korea’s internet giant Naver on Tuesday announced its plan to boost online cartoon business’ global market presence by establishing a massive ecosystem for diverse contents and talented artists.

Speaking at a press conference in Seoul, Naver Webtoon’s chief Kim Jun-koo unveiled the company’s global market strategy and content creation plans. After its launch in 2004, global services began in 2014.

To attract more users to its online cartoon platform, the company hopes to create a massive ecosystem for cartoonists across the globe. Currently, 580,000 amateur artists and 1,600 professional cartoonists publish their contents on Naver Webtoon.

“Naver Webtoon is a unique platform where artists can cross national boundaries to connect with readers and business partners,” said Kim. “We are going to turn Naver Webtoon into a global entertainment company like Disney.”

Naver Webtoon’s chief Kim Joon-ku. (Naver)
Naver Webtoon’s chief Kim Joon-ku. (Naver)

According to Kim, Naver Webtoon is one of the most sought-after internet cartoon applications on the Google Play Store. Last month, the app’s monthly active use surpassed the threshold of 60 million.

The outcome was mostly driven by Naver Webtoon’s remarkable growth in the market overseas, Kim explained. Over the past two years in the US, its global brand Line Webtoon recorded 71 percent increase in the amount of monthly active users.

Separately, Naver Webtoon is expands its business horizon by entering advertisement and other content businesses using its intellectual property. By the end of this year, about 600 billion won ($502 million) is expected to be spent to purchase contents.

“Unlike video contents, webtoon’s visual story-telling contents allow users to determine the way they enjoy contents,” said Kim. “It has great business potential for global entertainment contents.”

By Yeo Jun-suk (