The content we create makes the world happier.
The topic of K-pop and K-dramas invariably surface when I meet with foreign leaders. In each and every country I’ve visited, I encountered young people who sing Korean songs and enjoy Korean webtoons, characters, dramas and movies. Enthusiasm to study the Korean language is also rapidly spreading.
Seeing those young people around the world who are enjoying our content and growing more hopeful, I feel a sense of pride. I cannot but express my gratitude to culture and arts professionals as well as the creators behind our content. Thank you very much.
The Korea Creative Content Agency Education Services Center is the cradle of those talented people who will take responsibility for the future of our content. Here today, I’m very pleased to be able to present three strategies for an innovative content industry that aim to achieve innovative growth through the power of content and culture.
It’s been 20 years since our content evolved into border-crossing Hallyu, or the Korean Wave. At first, it was seen as a passing craze in certain regions, but Korea has now become a country that promotes communication and shared appreciation among people across the globe, transcending regions and genres.
The competitiveness of our content industry has grown stronger as well. Korea has transformed itself from an importer to an exporter of cultural goods and services. For the first time in 2012, Korea turned into a net exporter of culture. Cultural content exports have increased over 16 percent annually on average during the past five years. Last year alone, Korea registered US$10 billion in cultural exports, emerging as the seventh largest content powerhouse. By sector, content’s growth trend is second only to semiconductors.
In terms of employment, over 650,000 talented individuals are working in the content industry, which has emerged as a key industry for creating jobs.
Also, exports of consumer goods and tourism connected to Hallyu content surpassed US$5 billion.
Hallyu-linked food, cosmetics, automobiles, mobile phones and appliances have become appealing as well, finding their way into the everyday lives of people around the world.
Last year, more than 1.4 million Hallyu fans visited Korea to attend e-sports competitions or to see for themselves the hometowns of K-pop celebrities. Even a “culture without borders” community has appeared, revolving around Hallyu.
Recent research has shown that every US$100 worth of content products exported leads to US$248 in exports of related consumer goods and services, more than double the amount. As a matter of fact, Hallyu generated nearly 20 trillion won in production inducement effects last year alone.
The content industry has become a crucial industry for reviving the Korean economy, far beyond the scope of culture.
Korea could become a content powerhouse rising from cultural underdevelopment thanks to efforts made by countless creators who took on challenges with ingenuity, innovative technology and entrepreneurship.
Korea’s top standing in global e-sports was due to those game developers who made online games and exported them by utilizing our world-class broadband internet infrastructure. BTS pioneered an innovative business model that allows direct communication with fans. TV producer Na Young-seok’s “Grandpas Over Flowers” has, as he mentioned just before, become an example of exporting a program format itself as Korean-style content.
Through responsive adaptation to the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Hallyu-multi content and other creative content made by one-person creators can now be simultaneously enjoyed by people around the world on the strength of global platforms and the world’s first commercial 5G service.
The Government will provide support to ensure that creators with ingenious ideas and innovative technologies can take on as many challenges as they like and succeed by helping them make the most of our strength in content.
Through these three innovation strategies for the content industry, we will add wings to those creators’ efforts.
First, we will provide government-backed financing to make sure that people will be able to launch a new stellar enterprise even if ideas and technologies are the only things they have.
By creating the first content venture investment fund and expanding guarantees for content companies, we will increase investments aimed at boosting the content industry over the next three years; additional funds, more than one trillion won compared to the original plan, will be provided.
Intensive investments will be made in the planning and early production stages as well as in less common genres where it has been difficult to secure investments due to uncertainties. In so doing, we will help those without proven track records still make progress. This will also create opportunities for those who have tried, but failed, to once more take on a challenge.
We will also expand support for experimental areas where the market is not yet fully formed.
Second, we will nurture immersive content that employs virtual, augmented and mixed realities to secure future growth engines.
As the immersive content market has yet to be fully activated, it will be possible for us to secure a commanding position in the global market ahead of others through bold investments.
The Government and the public sector will be the first to adopt and utilize immersive content such as holograms and the content for virtual reality-based education and training, thereby expeditiously boosting the market.
Through these efforts, it will also become possible to establish an immersive shopping mall through which people can try on and purchase clothes from Dongdaemun Market via virtual reality. It will also be possible to create culture and tourism-related immersive content more quickly, allowing people to experience Seokguram Grotto in Gyeongju as if there in person while being in their own rooms and to live-stream K-pop concerts via augmented reality. Immersive Hallyu content that combines video games, music content and new technologies will also become available.
We will build Asia’s largest immersive content infrastructure in which creators and businesses can strengthen their capabilities and people can easily gain firsthand experiences and familiarity. We will also nurture key professionals.
Third, we will spearhead the growth of related industries by utilizing the new Hallyu.
During my recent official visit to Thailand, there was a Brand K launching show for Korean government-certified SME products. Featuring K-pop, the show clearly garnered a lot of attention as all of the products released sold out. It has become an exemplary case of the Government and Hallyu content companies working together to pioneer global markets for excellent domestic goods.
The Government will expand support for Korean language education and cultural exchanges to help the Hallyu spread farther and strengthen our content export capabilities by providing information concerning overseas markets and support for translation and online marketing.
As we did in Thailand, the Government will help actively attract Hallyu tourists by increasing Hallyu-based marketing opportunities for the outstanding consumer goods produced by our SMEs and by turning Hallyu content into a tourism resource and increasing the number of concert halls exclusively dedicated to Hallyu.
The Government will protect copyrights internationally to prevent any damage from illegal copying or the counterfeiting of Hallyu-related goods, and we will also concentrate on creating a level playing field for the production of content.
My fellow Koreans,
With the power of content and culture being added to our country’s industrialization and democratization, the pride of the Republic of Korea has grown even greater.
Content will help further enrich our lives and become a crucial future income source.
We have time-honored cultural heritage and many ambitious young people, and Koreans are also well known for mirth, talent, and creativity.
I hope you all dream and heartily take on challenges. The content that we imagine and create together will lead the world. Let's start right here to establish the world's leading content powerhouse. The Government will open the door to opportunities.