Yang Ji-eul, the CEO of South Korean streaming platform TVING, has spoken about the service’s plans to grow and take on Netflix in Korea and beyond.
In a new interview with Variety, Yang discussed his vision for TVING – a streaming service backed by Korean media giant CJ ENM, search engine Naver and cable network JTBC – following a banner year of 60 per cent subscriber growth in 2021. The CEO also touched on the global growth of Korean content and how he plans on challenging Netflix, both at home and abroad.
“It’s a game of capital,” Yang said of potential growth in the streaming space. “Players are entering a market to play for the crown jewel, but in the next three to five years, the industry will become consolidated. Only some will win customers’ loyalty and be sustainable.”
And for Yang, part of those plans to fight against larger global streaming services is by delivering authenticity through its content. TVING already has two popular K-drama series on its ongoing slate – the Kim Go-eun-led Yumi’s Cells and ensemble comedy Work Later, Drink Now – with 13 more original series on the way in 2022, including Monstrous by Hellbound and Train To Busan writer Yeon Song-ho.
The CEO also noted TVING’s new global partnership with Paramount Plus, where the companies would work together on new content in both the English and Korean languages, and gain an understanding of each other’s markets. “Our partnership with Paramount Plus gives access to a network that TVING doesn’t have. We’ll get feedback and learn about the markets’ demands and marketing there,” he said.
But Yang isn’t in a rush to battle Netflix head-on just yet, despite touching on plans to expand to the West in the future, instead he is looking on focus on more familiar markets. “We want to take [global expansion] step-by-step,” he said. “We’ll start with Taiwan and Japan, with a large enough market size using a formula we know can work. As for the US and Europe, we’ll wait a bit,” said Yang.
In related news, Netflix previously said that it will continue to invest heavily in Korean content for the rest of 2020. “All our rivals are aggressively investing in the Korean market and we will also keep pace with them,” said Don Kang, Netflix Korea’s Vice President of Content.