SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Korea Bizwire) – Despite the economic, diplomatic, and political drawbacks of 2016, Korea’s content industry continued its march forward.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Korea Creative Content Agency, the content industry grew by 5.7 percent last year to 105.2 trillion won ($89 billion), setting an important milestone for the sector by surpassing the 100-trillion-won mark for the first time.
The content industry is categorized by officials into 11 subsections – publications, cartoons, music, videogames, movies, animations, broadcasts, advertisements, characters, knowledge information, and content solutions.
The industry’s 2016 growth rate was higher than 2015’s, which was 4.8 percent, and more than twice the value of South Korea’s economic growth last year of 2.7 percent.
Consistent progress has been made in the content creation sector in recent years. Total revenue increased from 83 trillion won in 2011 to 87.3 trillion won in 2012, 91.2 trillion won in 2013, 94.9 trillion won in 2014, and 99.5 trillion won in 2015.
Content creation even overcame a potentially game changing diplomatic setback last year with China, the Korean government’s decision to deploy a U.S. THAAD battery, which triggered numerous reports that Chinese authorities were banning South Korean products, cultural content, and travel to Korea. China accounts for roughly 30 percent of total content exports from Korea.
The most encouraging of last year’s results is the fact that the industry maintained its growth of content exports, said officials, which rose by 8.3 percent to $6.31 billion, despite Korea’s total exports dropping by 5.9 percent.
Although the export growth was lower than 2015’s 10.5 percent, it was slightly higher than the average rate of growth over the past five years of 8 percent, officials added.
“Last year’s progress was driven by exceptional growth in the knowledge information and the character sectors,” said an official from KOCCA. “Although the content industry is not yet a key player when compared to the country’s total exports or the GDP, it did give us some breathing space especially amid the prolonged economic downturn and the negative growth of overall exports.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)