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Wavve to invest W1tr in original content by 2025

Wavve (Wavve)
Wavve (Wavve)

Largest South Korean over-the-top platform Wavve on Friday announced that it will proceed with investing 1 trillion won ($885 million) in original content through 2025.

Wavve is a joint venture between SK Telecom and terrestrial broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS and the biggest local OTT platform.

“Through investment in original content, we hope to expand the partnership between broadcasters, production companies and intellectual property holders. We will also work to discover smaller-sized production companies,” said Content Wavve CEO Lee Tae-hyun. “Wavve will be at the forefront in creating a growing ecosystem for both K-contents and K-OTT platform.”

When Wavve launched in 2019, it said it would invest 300 billion won in content by 2023. In the first two years, it invested 70 billion won to create original series such as “Alice,” “SF8,” “Zombie Detective” and “The Tale of Nokdu,” among others. Wavve will also invest over 80 billion won this year to produce original drama series such as “Taxi Driver” and “Bossam: Steal the Fate” and other original shows, including political sitcom “Going to the Blue House.”

Wavve’s biggest shareholder SK Telecom held a meeting of its board of directors on Thursday to issue new stocks worth 100 billion won.

While domestic streaming platforms are smaller in size compared to global giants like Netflix and Disney+, Wavve hopes to raise the competitiveness of local media platforms through rigorous investment. Netflix announced in February that it would invest 550 billion won in Korean content this year.

Last month, Netflix reached over 10 million monthly users while Wavve had 3.95 million and Tving had 2.65 million, according to mobile market researcher IGAWorks. Compared to last May, Netflix monthly users grew by 2.6 million while Wavve users fell by around 300,000. Disney+ is also set to launch its Korean service this year.

Wavve announced that it would hire a chief content operator and set up a content production studio within the first half of this year. Wavve recently set up the Content Strategy Division to further improve its original content.

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