Kakao and Daum, Korea's top two online platform operators, are displaying impressive results on the global webtoon market.
Thanks to a diversity of characters and stories, Korean webtoons are showing their potential to join Korean music, cinema and drama on the world market as the next big genre boosting Hallyu.
Piccoma, a comics app of Kakao, is a sensation in Japan, the world's top comics market, after topping sales there last month.
Based on a July analysis report by App Annie, a global app research company, Kakao Japan on Aug. 10 said Piccoma was No. 1 in sales for the month among all app companies, including non-game ones, in Japan's two biggest app markets, the Apple Store and Google Playstore.
This ranked Kakao Japan 12th worldwide, excluding the combined sales of the Apple Store and Google Playstore and games.
The Japanese comics market is the world's largest at KRW 5.7 trillion in value. Sales of digital comics there last year exceeded that of paper comics for the first time.
Kakao said the Korean-style webtoon is one factor accounting for Piccoma's huge popularity among Japanese fans. Due to Hallyu's influence, Korean webtoons accounted for more than 40% of Piccoma's sales.
"When considering the overall Japanese comic market, I see full-scale growth beginning now," said Kakao Japan CEO Kim Jae-yong. "We will further develop the competitiveness of webtoons and continue leading the growth of the global comics market."
Naver's Line Manga, which began its service and entered the Japanese market before Piccoma, is also showing the potential of Korean webtoons.
Naver Webtoon, a platform for webtoons and web novels, on Aug. 2 posted daily turnover of KRW 3 billion, a first in the industry, after the same figure hit KRW 2 billion in the same month last year. The platform attracted more than 65 million visitors worldwide last month and its number of users exceeded a million in just two months. In this year's second quarter, its global turnover grew 57% from the same period last year.
A Naver news release said, "We think we can achieve turnover of KRW 800 billion this year and get to KRW 1 trillion much sooner than expected."