The Korea Herald


[KH Biz Forum] Digital transformation key in ASEAN content market entry

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Oct. 16, 2018 - 16:32

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Facing a wave of mobile-first digital transformation, traditional media contents like recorded video, comic books and studio albums give way to live-streaming video services, webtoons and digital songs.

Southeast Asian countries are no exceptions from such digital transformations, both posing challenges and heralding new opportunities to Korean business entities, Lee Sung-min, research associate at the state-led Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, told audience at a business forum hosted by The Korea Herald and ASEAN-Korea Center.

For example, a subscription service on an online platform generates less revenue from contents than in the era of traditional copyright, but the service allows “digital native” generations to be more accessible to other related contents, fostering a stronger chance for users to be connected with the platform. 

Lee Sung-min, research associate at Korea Culture and Tourism Institute (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald) Lee Sung-min, research associate at Korea Culture and Tourism Institute (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
“Making money out of the copyright is not profitable as it used to be,” he said. “The revenue from contents is diminishing but there is a strong chance in the possibility with intellectual property business.”

Lee highlighted potential roles of Korean companies as platform providers that can bolster capability of content creators in the Southeast Asian market.

“Those (in Southeast Asia) who actually consume contents (from Korea) that was made rather accessible to ASEAN people are now creating the contents with the expertise and the experience,” he said.

“What was created in Korea can be used as catalyst to strengthen collaboration with countries to maximize the profit model out of the contents.”

Such a platform’s role explains the birth of international memes such as #BabySharkChallenge, originating from Pinkfong, a Korean education brand created by startup SmartStudy, according to Lee.

“I’m not here to say (Korea) has such great programs and contents,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where the creation came from, as people around the world are enjoying and embracing (the contents) as their own.”

Lee is one of the leading local experts in promoting South Korean cultural exports to Southeast Asia, combing his expertise in intellectual property rights over digital content with his comprehensive understanding of the entertainment market in Southeast Asia.

By Son Ji-hyoung