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Celebrities head to Kakao TV for entertainment show opportunities

Celebrities and producers of Kakao TV original entertainment shows pose during an online press conference on Monday. (Kakao M)
Celebrities and producers of Kakao TV original entertainment shows pose during an online press conference on Monday. (Kakao M)

Over a month has passed since Kakao M launched Kakao TV, a mobile content streaming platform, on Sept. 1, with seven of the 25 original shows that it promised until the end of the year.

On Monday, producers and celebrities on original Kakao TV entertainment shows gathered for an online news conference to talk about how the shows came into being and the reasons for joining the platform.

“We prepared a new form of entertainment show to lead the changing trend and environment,” said Oh Yoon-hwan, head director of Kakao TV original studios. “We will show new entertainment content that is best suited for mobile viewing, along with rich content and star power.”

The release of entertainment shows by mobile platforms has ushered in changes to the entertainment industry, as popular producers and celebrities were quickly recruited from television companies.

Head director Oh was previously with JTBC, where he produced several popular shows, including “Begin Again” and “Welcome Back to School.”

In September, Kakao M says its original shows on Kakao TV had over 58 million views.

One of the original shows, “ZZin Kyung-kyu,” shows the everyday interactions between the “godfather” of entertainment Lee Kyung-kyu and producer Kwon Hae-bom, known as Mormot PD. This is Lee’s first attempt at a mobile show in his 40-year career in entertainment.

“If ‘ZZIN Kyung-kyu isn’t funny, I will throw away my phone and leave,” said Lee on Monday, showing his confidence in the program. “Although the platform has changed to digital, there isn’t much change in what we do. I decided to go on the show believing good content will work.”

“Wannabe Ryan,” is an audition between mascots, struggling under the supervision of singer Kim Hee-chul and actor Shim Hyeong-tak, to be the next Ryan, Kakao’s star mascot.

“We thought of this program while thinking of something that only Kakao can do on the mobile platform,” said producer Kim Min-jong.

“When I was first offered the position at ‘Wannabe Ryan,’ I was against it because I heard it was an audition program and I have memories of feeling sad watching them. But it turned out to be an audition among mascots. Trying something I had never done before was very enjoyable,” said Kim Hee-chul.

Another popular show on the platform is “Kakao TV Morning” which offers five different entertainment shows, featuring celebrities like rapper BewhY, entertainer Kim Gu-ra and singer Yoo Hee-yeol, at 7 a.m., from Monday to Friday.

Yoo goes for an evening walk which is shown every Friday. His route can be seen on the Kakao Map app, giving viewers an opportunity walk the same course.

“Shall We KKtalk” features lyricist Kim Ea-na as the host on Tuesdays and makes use of the mobile platform. Kim and a celebrity guest “talk” exclusively through Kakao’s messenger app, Kakao Talk. This radically different style of interview is both novel and entertaining, as it shows different sides of the celebrities.

On Wednesdays, comedian Noh Hong-chul, rapper DinDin and weather forecaster Kim Ga-young, appear in “The Three Ants” in which the three invest their contract fees in stocks.

Doing a stock investment show on television presented numerous problems, according to chief producer of “The Three Ants” Park Jin-kyung. For example, the show is shown a few days after the celebs trade the stocks so as to not affect the stock prices.

“I have a lot of curiosity and I try to do things I am good at or something I have never tried. To be honest, I felt there was no show that I hadn’t tried,” said Noh on Monday. Told that he would be able to do something new, his interest was piqued.

“I also was interested as an entertainer because the platform and environment is changing fast, and the Kakao TV producers said they were making content after analyzing the mobile market environment.”

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)
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