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LINE - statistics & facts

LINE is a Japan-based, cross-platform mobile messenger app with about 84 million monthly active users in its home market as of 2020. The service is operated by LINE Corporation, a Japanese subsidiary of the South Korean internet search giant Naver Corporation. Created in response to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, LINE was originally designed as an internet-based method of communication that did not have to rely on the, then-damaged, telecommunications infrastructure. Despite a strong mobile messenger competition in Asia, LINE clearly dominates the mobile messaging market in its home country. This dominating position is reflected by very high penetration rates across age groups in Japan. Further key markets for the messenger app are Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia.

LINE Corporation diversified its portfolio

LINE Corporation recorded a total revenue of approximately 227.5 billion Japanese yen in 2019. Although LINE started out as a messenger app, LINE Corporation has also expanded its operations into other areas, offering spin-off apps such as the online payment system LINE Pay, the music streaming service LINE Music, and the digital comic service LINE Manga. The company’s core business consists of advertising, as well as the communication, and content business. The core business is complemented by the strategic business, which includes e-commerce and the sales of character goods. A look at the different segments shows that LINE Corporation generated more than half of its revenues in 2019 via advertising.

Plans for the near future

In November 2019 it was announced that LINE Corporation would merge with Z Holdings, a SoftBank subsidiary formerly known as Yahoo Japan. Due to some delays, the merger is expected for 2021. The move aims to increase the companies’ competitiveness, especially against more financially affluent competitors from the United States and China. It is a part of an ongoing consolidation of internet companies in Japan, who combine strengths in order to improve their situation in a global market that is increasingly dominated by the largest players, such as Google, Amazon, and Alibaba.

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LINE

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