Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Webtoon Entertainment CEO Discusses Nasdaq Listing, Expansion into U.S. Market, and Revenue Sharing Model

Featured Interview: Webtoon CEO Discusses Nasdaq Listing and Growth Strategies

Webtoon, the popular webcomic platform, made headlines last week as it successfully listed on Nasdaq. The company closed its first trading day at $23, marking a 9.5% increase from its IPO price of $21, with a market capitalization of around $2.9 billion.

In an exclusive interview with Deadline, Webtoon Entertainment CEO Junkoo Kim expressed excitement about the listing, stating that it would support the company’s efforts to adapt its IPs into various formats and enhance collaboration with global partners. Chief Strategy Officer Yongsoo Kim highlighted the company’s strong presence in Korea and Japan, while acknowledging the immense growth potential in North America.

The Nasdaq listing is expected to provide Webtoon with additional capital to drive growth, particularly in the U.S. market. Yongsoo Kim emphasized that the funds would be used to strengthen the company’s advertising business, as well as data and technology capabilities.

Webtoon Entertainment is known for its diverse portfolio of ventures, including webnovel platform Wattpad and Studio N. Recent high-profile projects such as “Black Knight” and “Sweet Home” have gained recognition on popular streaming platforms like Netflix, showcasing the platform’s potential for successful adaptations.

One of the key aspects of Webtoon’s success lies in its approach to creative ownership. Creators on the platform maintain ownership of their IPs, with Webtoon holding a minority stake. The company’s unique revenue share model and focus on data analytics play a crucial role in identifying stories that resonate with audiences.

Looking ahead, Webtoon is keeping an eye on advancements in generative AI and its potential impact on the webcomics ecosystem. With approximately 170 million monthly active users and 24 million creators worldwide, Webtoon continues to be a powerhouse in the digital comics industry.

The Nasdaq listing represents a significant milestone for Webtoon Entertainment, paving the way for further growth and innovation in the dynamic world of webcomics.

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