[Herald Interview] SAMG Vice President Says IP Owners Will Be Final Winners in Future Metaverse Market

SAMG Entertainment Vice President Choi Jae-won speaks during an interview with The Korea Herald. (SAMG Entertainment)

At the entrance to the Korean content company SAMG Entertainment’s office in Gangnam, characters from the “Miniforce” animation greet visitors.

In a company meeting room, a group of toys from various animations catches the eye.

But SAMG Entertainment vice president Choi Jae-won says it’s not just a toy maker.

The Korean animation company started producing toys with the animations after realizing the value of IP content in 2016. Since then, it has proven its power both online and offline.

The animation of the company “Catch! Tinnieping “about a bunch of creatures living in a magical kingdom topped Netflix Korea’s fashionable kids category four days after the launch of its first season.

Over 2.7 million “Catch! “Tinnieping” toys have been sold since its launch in April last year, topping popular toy rankings on shopping platforms like Coupang and Gmarket.

“Before, we didn’t make a lot of money when the companies that did business with our intellectual property benefited from it. We thought there was something wrong (with our business model), ”Choi said in an interview with The Korea Herald. “For example, there is a vitamin product for children that comes with our ‘Miniforce’ toy on top. Moms usually buy them for children after visiting hospitals. This vitamin product dominated the market. But we didn’t take much advantage of it.

“Now we’re a full content company, we produce our own products using our intellectual property with animation. “

Choi went on to say that the value of IP addresses will only increase in the future.

“I see the ultimate winner in the metaverse marketplace is the one with IP addresses,” Choi said. “Because what matters most is what people do on the Metaverse platforms, not the platform itself. “

“The kids want to meet Blackpink on a metaverse platform and snap a photo with Jennie even though he’s just a 3D character and not real,” Choi said. “Children who have grown up watching our animation would like to visit the headquarters of Miniforce and also the princess room of ‘Catch! Tinnieping ‘on the metaverse. We can make it possible.

This is the reason why SAMG Entertainment is focused on creating digital content that can adapt freely to different platforms.

“When creating animated films in the traditional way, there has to be a rendering process. It takes days for a few videos of a few minutes to go through this rendering process. If it lasts 30 minutes, that means it takes a few weeks, ”Choi said.

He said that it is almost impossible to create content that can drive real-time communication and adapt to different platforms reflecting the returns with this technology.

New collection of K-pop themed

New collection of K-pop themed “Lulu Pop” toys from SAMG Entertainment (SAMG Entertainment)

The vice president of the company said that this problem can be solved by creating content based on a game engine.

When creating animation content using a game engine, it is not possible to create an animation as sophisticated as the one created by the rendering process, but it makes it easy to reflect comments, he stressed.

“Since we don’t need time for rendering, we’re open to a whole new type of business,” Choi said. “The YouTube video content of our characters in the mini ‘Lulu Pop’ version is created with a game engine. This means the character can use social media, host home shopping programs, or teach online learning programs. line in the future. They can be used in different forms, just like the characters in the game.

If adopting the metaverse is the company’s long-term goal, Choi said the company is currently leaning into the market for random toys, which involves selling a collection of tagged-packaged dolls, and recently has launched his characters “Lulu Pop”.

“The annual sales of the American brand LOL Surprise, which operates random toy businesses in the United States, are approximately 4 trillion won ($ 3.37 billion),” Choi said. “This is a verified market in the United States and there is a similar successful business in China as well.”

What sets the characters of “Lulu Pop” apart from the random toys out there is that they have a K-pop artist theme, Choi said.

“For elementary school kids these days, Disney Princesses and Princes are no longer their idols. K-pop stars are their princesses and their princes. Plus, they listen to K-pop music from a young age, ”Choi said. “BTS also started out with a strong fan base of elementary school kids, you know? “

Choi said that while the character expansion of “Lulu Pop” might be slower than the rise of K-pop, like many other animated content that generally has a longer lifespan, it is here to stay.

“Plus, they don’t have to serve in the military or grow old. And these are digital assets, so we can make them work 24/7. “

By Song Seung-hyun ([email protected])

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