KT bets big on content, targets W5tr sales by 2025

From left, Kim Cheol-yeon, CEO of KT Studio Genie, Kang Kook-hyun, Head of Customer Affairs of KT, and Yoon Yong-pil, CEO of Sky TV, pose for a photo during the press conference of the telecom operator for its content business at a hotel in Seoul on Thursday. (KT)

South Korean telecom operator KT on Thursday pledged to nearly double its sales by 2025 by strengthening its value chain in the media sector focused on producing original content and securing intellectual property rights.

KT Studio Genie, the company’s wholly-owned content production subsidiary launched last year, will play a key role in the value chain by manufacturing original content, the telecom operator said at a press briefing. .

Through the value chain, KT plans to increase media-related sales revenue by 30% in four years to more than 5 trillion won ($4.1 billion) from the current 3.6 trillion won.

The content production studio plans to collaborate with other KT-backed content units, including subscription e-book service provider Millie’s Library and webtoon and web novel platform Storywiz to secure intellectual property rights. . KT’s music streaming unit, Genie Music, last year became the largest shareholder of Millie’s Library, the leading e-book service provider by number of subscribers, by acquiring a 38.6% stake in the business for 46.4 billion won.

KT is currently planning an initial public offering for the e-book service provider which had 3.8 million subscribers as of September 2021, KT CEO Ku Hyeon-mo said at the company’s shareholders’ meeting. last week.

The content produced would be distributed with the help of Altimedia, a technology company providing title solutions for media companies, which KT also acquired last year. With the telco’s acquisition of cable TV operator Hyundai HCN around the same time, which has since been rebranded as Media Genie, five more channels were added to KT’s initial seven channels under Sky TV. .

KT Studio Genie plans to produce and air 24 original TV dramas from May this year to the end of 2023, featuring Hallyu megastars such as singer-actor Choi Si-won of Super Junior and Kwon Yu-ri of Girls’ Generation . KT also plans to provide the content to other global streaming services.

Its latest partnership with CJ ENM will see KT partner with various global companies to expand content distribution channels, the company said.

KT’s latest announcement follows Ku’s remarks at the general shareholders’ meeting held on March 31 that KT wants to transform into a holding-entity type structure to accelerate growth and share value.

“With the success of our media platform business, we expect to see growth in media content production and ultimately help improve Korea’s status in the global market,” said Kang Kook-hyun, KT’s senior vice president in charge of client activities.

By Jung Min-kyung ([email protected])

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