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Naver’s webtoon dominance continues

Naver Webtoon logs 82 million monthly active users

Naver Webtoon’s logo (Naver)
Naver Webtoon’s logo (Naver)
South Korean IT giant Naver’s webtoon business is continuing its dominance in the global market, getting recognized as the world’s best webtoon application while posting a record high number of users.

Naver Webtoon has been honored as the world’s best webtoon application in the mobile app market by analyzer Sensor Tower’s 2021 Asia-Pacific Awards, the company said Friday.

Sensor Tower said Naver Webtoon is the most successful webtoon application in Asia, adding that it also has been recording the highest number of downloads and garnering the largest revenues in the US webtoon market, which is the world’s biggest.

In the US, over 70 percent of Naver Webtoon’s users were found to be 24 years old or younger, the company said, which indicates how its readership is building a fandom centered around youth.

The mobile app market analyzer said Naver Webtoon is one of the most popular apps among Asia’s younger generations, as it climbed to become the best global webtoon app with strong numbers in South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Under the names of Webtoon, Line Manga and Line Webtoon, Naver Webtoon is providing popular web-based cartoons in 10 languages in over 100 countries, according to the company.

Naver announced last week that the number of Naver Webtoon’s monthly active users reached a record high of 82 million in the month of January. With the growth in the number of users, the monthly transaction volume surpassed 100 billion won ($83.6 million), according to the company.

For the reasons behind the increasing figures, Naver pointed to a jump in the number of foreign transactions and the inflow of more global readers based on Naver Webtoon’s intellectual property turning into video content from online comics.

According to the company, overseas transactions of popular titles such as “True Beauty” and “The Remarried Empress” were three times the domestic volume in January. “7Fates: Chakho,” a webtoon produced in collaboration with K-pop superstar group BTS, raked in 15 million views in just two days after its launch on January 15. It saw record highs of daily active users in several languages including English, Japanese, Spanish, French and German, the company said.

In case of “All of Us Are Dead,” a Netflix series based on the original webtoon of the same title, the number of views increased significantly since the release of the content on the global streaming service. According to Naver, the number of the original webtoon’s weekly views jumped by 80 times, and the amount of weekly transactions increased by 59 times.

Naver Webtoon’s annual transaction volume surpassed 1 trillion won for the first time on the back of increasing global popularity, the company said last month when it announced the fourth quarter and annual earnings.

“Naver Webtoon is steadily growing in both platforms and contents by building a solid local webtoon ecosystem in the global content market,” a Naver official said. 

“As an industry leader, Naver Webtoon will focus more on expanding overseas markets and strengthening global competitiveness.”

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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