The Korea Herald


Kakao launches Tapas Entertainment to boost US market expansion

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Sept. 5, 2022 - 15:15

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Logo of Tapas Entertainment (Kakao Entertainment) Logo of Tapas Entertainment (Kakao Entertainment)
Kakao Entertainment -- a content subsidiary of South Korean IT giant Kakao -- has launched Tapas Entertainment to accelerate the expansion of its content businesses in North America, the company said Monday.

Tapas Entertainment was established after a merger between Tapas Media, the first webtoon platform in North America, and Radish Media, a leading US web novel company, was completed on Aug. 5, according to Kakao Entertainment.

Kakao Entertainment acquired the two companies in May last year to target English-speaking regions with its content businesses.

With the launch of Tapas Entertainment, Kakao Entertainment said the goal is to ignite the growth of Korean webtoon’s global popularity by providing more synergy for local webtoon and web-based novel markets.

Kakao Entertainment will look to discover globally powerful intellectual property through the business model of novel-based comics -- a web content strategy pioneered by Kakao Entertainment as the company created a webtoon based on a popular web-based novel and saw success in the market.

The company said it has already begun working with some of the over 100,000 North American creators who had been working with Tapas Media and Radish Media before the merger.

Korean webtoons are prevalent in the North American market. According to Kakao Entertainment, 70 percent of Tapas Entertainment’s sales come from less than 1 percent of Kakao Entertainment’s intellectual property. Kakao Entertainment owns about 10,000 original intellectual properties.

“Through the merger, North America’s most premium digital storytelling platforms -- Tapas, Radish and Wuxiaworld -- have come together,” said Kim Chang-won, co-CEO of Tapas Entertainment. Wuxiaworld, an Asian fantasy fiction platform, was a subsidiary of Tapas Media.

“We expect the collaboration between the highest level of IP spectrum secured through (the merger) and the mass partnership with local creators to not only expand our global readership size, but also create synergy with North American entertainment businesses,” he added.

Park Jong-chul, head of Kakao Entertainment’s global business unit and co-CEO of Tapas Entertainment, pointed out that Kakao’s webtoons have been a success story in North America and the launch of the merged company will mark the beginning of Kakao Entertainment’s full-fledged efforts in showcasing its capabilities in the North American market.