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A Quick Look at South Korean Market  

2015-07-16 20:02:06|  分类: Book |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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A Quick Look at South Korean Market

[caption id="attachment_214" align="aligncenter" width="470"]bf Korea market focus on London Book Fair 2014[/caption]

“In the 21st century, culture is power. This is an era when an individual’s imagination becomes creative content.” This was declared by South Korean President Park Geun-hye on the 18th Presidential Inauguration in 2013.



And one year ago, the famous Korean cultural wave, Hallyu, has been updated to a new stage: Hallyu 2.0, which means the combination of Korean Wave and social media in this whole new digital era. Hallyu started in mid-1990s with the export of Korean pop songs, TV dramas and films. Now it has spread to other creative and content industries, becoming one of the cores of high value-added services, along with the industries of education, software, finance, tourism and health care. In 2009, with the establishment Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), the promotion of creative and content industries has risen to the national strategy.

The publishing industry in South Korea also belongs to content industry and is supported by KOCCA. It is the biggest sector of South Korean content industries. Korea has one of the top book markets in the world. Over 40,000 titles are produced annually. In 2013, translations accounted for 21.55% of the released titles. Book from Japan and the U.S. are the most popular ones, following by the U.K., France and Germany.

The amount of publishers has grown rapidly. In 2000, there were 16,000 publishers, the number has increased to approximately 42,000. Although only 10% of them are active, this could be a sign of cultural diversity and the rising of independent publishing.

The students in South Korea have to face a fierce competitive education system, which was even described as “jungle”. Besides the formal education, there are huge amount of cram school. This could explain why the education segment accounts for over 60% of the Korean book market. In term of other categories, literature accounted for 21.6% of the new titles in 2013, following by children’s book which had a 17.20% share.

There are about only 1,600 brick-and-mortar bookstores in Korean now, and they are still in danger. The challenge comes from online bookstores. They contributed 30.4% of total book sales in 2013. Although there hasn’t been any huge one like Amazon, but you can still buy books from many local e-commerce companies. Normally you can get your book within 24 hours, or even 12 hours.

Korean e-book market is one of the biggest, but still under its way of developing from a marginalized place to the center of the stage. About 15% of Korean readers read e-books, but the market accounted only for 4.65% of the overall book market in 2013. The good side is, Korea has the world’s fastest average internet speed and the country is the leader of the development of LTE network and mobile devices. It is fascinating to see how digital publishing and digital content market could be changed in a mobile environment.

This environment has already been promoting other Korean content industries, such as game industry. Since several years ago, the Korean online game has already become the most significant exported cultural products. Now its mobile games market has also became one of the most active in the world.

* Facts and Figures are from the Content industry white paper and the article of Publishers Weekly (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/61577-facts-and-numbers-on-the-korean-book-market-digital-publishing-in-korea-2014.html)

 

Leading Publishers in South Korea


Sigongsa Co., Ltd
Mineum-sa Publishing Company
Random House Korea
Woongjin Thinkbig Co., Ltd.
Book21 Publishing Group Co., Ltd.
Daehan Textbook Print. Co.
Changbi Publishers, Inc.

 

[Note: I’ve been doing a research on German Book Fair and International Cultural Exchange since last November in Frankfurt Book Fair. Recently I began working with their new project called “The Markets: Global Publishing Summit“, which is a new event from the Frankfurt Book Fair and Publishing Perspectives that showcases seven strong and vibrant publishing regions. (Germany, China, the U.S., Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, Indonesia )

I did some basic research on these markets, sketched the situation in seven short passages. I hope they could deliver some useful information for those who are interested in these markets.]
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