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South Korea's creative content industry - Statistics & Facts

South Korea’s creative industry has become the center of attention thanks to Hallyu, the Korean wave. Hallyu refers to the popularity and success of South Korean content around the globe, with K-pop and South Korean dramas at the forefront. The government has strongly subsided and supported the industry, which is one of the reasons why it became as prominent as it is today. In 2019, the total sales revenue of the South Korean content industry lay at around 126.7 trillion South Korean won.

Publishing

When breaking down the sales revenue of the content industry by segment, the publishing industry is at the front, accounting for around 16.8 percent of total sales revenue. While the print industry is struggling in most technologically advanced countries, South Korea’s strong education market is a driving force for the industry.

TV and movies

South Korean dramas were at the forefront of Hallyu, and were especially popular in numerous Asian countries. In 2021, South Korean dramas were found to be “very popular” by around 49 percent of respondents during a global survey held across 18 countries about the popularity of K-drama. The film industry also recently gained recognition after the South Korean movie "Parasite" by Bong Joon-ho won the Academy Award for Best Picture, among others, in 2020. It was the first time a non-English movie won this award.

Music

Nowadays, K-pop is becoming increasingly popular around the world. In 2019, South Korean K-pop girl group BLACKPINK became the first K-pop band to be performing at Coachella, one of the biggest music festivals in the United States. Meanwhile, the K-pop boy group BTS is continuously breaking records and became the most popular K-pop artist worldwide.

Webtoons

Webtoons are a trend to keep an eye on. Originating in South Korea, readers access them online, preferably on mobile screens. While some only tell short stories out of the lives of the creator, others are telling fantasy stories over several months or years. The trend is becoming increasingly popular around the world, and a growing number of popular webtoons are being adapted as movies and TV shows. According to a survey conducted in 2020, "The Sound of Your Heart" was the most popular webtoon in South Korea. Running from 2006 to 2020, it was first adapted as a TV series in 2016.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "Creative content industry in South Korea".

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