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Content business will be game changer in S. Korea’s soft power growth: ministry

While the budget has increased, industry insiders call for more effective measures

By Lee Si-jin

Published : Dec. 27, 2022 - 15:44

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Vice Culture Minister Chun Byong-geuk speaks at CJ ENM Studio Center in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. (Yonhap) Vice Culture Minister Chun Byong-geuk speaks at CJ ENM Studio Center in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Tuesday it would focus on maintaining the global popularity of Korea media and broadcast content with an increased budget of 190 billion won ($149.9 million) for the creative content sector next year.

“Korean content is receiving an unprecedented attention from the global audience. Many say that they are watching the drama series, film or TV show, because it is from Korea," First Vice Culture Minister Chun Byong-geuk said at CJ ENM Studio Center in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Tuesday. "Our content business has earned high hopes and expectations and it is now considered a major game changer in the growth of the country's soft power.”

Recognizing the explosive popularity of Korean content, ranging from “Crash Landing on You" and “Squid Game” to “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” and “Reborn Rich,” Chun emphasized the importance of creating measures to respond to the fast-changing environment of global content market.

The Culture Ministry’s budget for supporting media content production has been set at 45.4 billion won, with 39.4 billion won allocated for drama series and 6 billion won for unscripted shows.

To discover young talents for the content business, the ministry seeks to train the future content creators with various strategies, including graduate schools for global streaming service businesses and facilitating opportunities to pitch ideas in the global content markets like Broadcast Worldwide.

The ministry highlighted the importance of intellectual property ownership as well, citing IP ownership as one of the biggest tasks for next year.

"The ministry is trying to create an environment where we can support the production teams to secure their IP and grow with the video streaming platforms,” Chun added.

The government plan notwithstanding, industry insiders asked for more specific measures.

“Despite the increased budget and financial support from the ministry, many staff and workers are still paid the minimum wage,” said Korea Broadcasting Image Production Association director Kim Tae-ryong.

“While the creative content business is considered the second chip industry, one of Korea’s leading industries, driving economic growth, I believe that the creative content industry is still not getting the appropriate support,” Kim added.