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K-conent

KT to bolster content creation with $350 mn investment by 2023

By Mar 24, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

KT CEO Koo Hyun-mo speaks at a media roundtable Mar. 23.
KT CEO Koo Hyun-mo speaks at a media roundtable Mar. 23.

South Korea’s telecom giant KT Corp. plans to expand its content business with an investment of 400 billion won ($353 million) by 2023.

The company will secure an extensive library of more than 1,000 original intellectual property (IP) content and more than 100 drama content by 2023, according to KT CEO Koo Hyun-mo at a media roundtable on Mar. 23.

KT will also create more than 30 original series in the next three years through its spin-off company, Studio Genie.

“KT’s media platform revenues have grown at an annual rate of 15% over the past 10 years, reaching 3 trillion won ($2.6 billion). Our company will begin a new journey as a global K-content creator by working closely with key business partners within Korea and abroad,” said the CEO.

STUDIO GENIE: AI AND BIG DATA-DRIVEN CONTENT CREATOR

Studio Genie was established in January as an affiliate responsible for KT’s content investment, content creation as well as distribution.

The studio currently creates drama, film and entertainment content based on the original IP owned by Storywiz, another KT affiliate focusing on webtoons and webnovels.  

Studio Genie distributes content on various platforms owned by KT group, including SkyTV, Olleh TV and SkyLife channel. The company will also widen its content distribution to KT’s mobile-oriented platforms such as KTH and Seezn.

Exports of its K-content to the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia are planned in partnership with overseas network providers.

KT will also adopt artificial intelligence (AI) technology to predict content popularity.

“More than 700 billion sets of customer data are generated on our platform. We are using them to closely analyze the exact scenes and moments when the viewers start and stop watching,” noted KT’s head of customer business Kang Kook-hyun.

KT’s data sample is almost 3,000 times more than the average sample data used to analyze viewer ratings in real-time broadcasting.

“Those who view content through TVs at home and others who use computers or mobile devices have different ways of media consumption. We will provide data insights regarding the optimum consumption patterns of customers on each platform,” commented Studio Genie Co-CEO Kim Cheol-yeon.

KT’s AI technology uses a 10-stage popularity prediction model based on data of screenwriters, actors and genres. The model has shown a high accuracy rate in tests so far.

Studio Genie will also utilize KT’s big data in the media segment to design the best distribution route for each type of content.

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH CONTENT PRODUCERS

The KT CEO also pointed out during the media roundtable that many content producers in Korea worry that they will become mere subcontractors of global streaming giants.

In order to address such concerns, Koo promised that KT will continue to “bolster partnerships” with the domestic production houses and assist individual content creators.

KT has already devised a win-win model, sharing not only the profit but also IP rights with more than 10 content producers that do not have their own platforms.

“KT will concentrate its capabilities within the group to create exclusive media content and lead the paradigm shift in the global market with our K-content,” said the KT CEO. 

KT will showcase its first original blockbuster series in the third quarter of this year.  

Write to Jin-Won Kim at jin1@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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