The Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) is a government agency that oversees and coordinates the promotion of the Korean content industry. KOCCA was established by the Korean Broadcasting Institute, the Korea Game Agency, and the Korea Culture & Content Agency. Therefore, the aim of KOCCA is to introduce Korean content to the world. Korean content such as Korean Dramas (K-Dramas), Korean Music (K-Pop), Korean Beauty, Korean Fashion, Korean Games, and Korean Animation just to name a few. KOCCA has played a major role in taking Korean culture & content globally. Furthermore, KOCCA has been incorporating new technologies for future projects and has been working with Korean startups to expand Korean content to the globe. Therefore, by working with Korean startups, KOCCA has access to new and innovative technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution.  

The Rise in Demand for Korean Content 

Korean ContentThe Korea Creative Content Agency was created by the Korean government due to the rise of interest in Korean content. The global popularity of South Korea’s cultural economy is called “Hallyu” (The Korean Wave). The exporting of Korean pop cultures such as TV dramas, movies, and music has played an important role in the growth of the Korean economy. Therefore the Korean government has played a major role in becoming the world’s leading exporter of popular culture. In addition, they have been sending delegates to promote Korean content to countries all around the world.

For example, the Korean Culture and Information Service have set up over 30 Korean Cultural Centers in over 25 countries across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa to promote Hallyu. Now, it is estimated that Hallyu added an estimated $15 billion to the Korean economy.  

Thanks to Hallyu, there has been a rise in Korean tourism. Furthermore, tourists from around the world come to Korea each year to experience Korean culture for themselves. Therefore, many Korean tour companies offer packages that include visits to famous K-drama shooting locations and various towns and resorts made famous by Korean movies, dramas, and K-Pop videos.

Competition for Korean Content Increasing

KOCCA did an online survey in 2019 to see which kind of Korean content is on the rise. The survey showed that K-pop and Korean drama fans around the world were willing to purchase Korean food, Korean fashion, and Korean beauty. There was a clear correlation between interest in Korean culture and Korean product consumption. Therefore KOCCA is focused on creating the right content for its marketing strategy to help get Korean content into the US TV market on new streaming platforms.

Netflix has been putting a lot of money into gathering as much Korean content onto their platform as possible. SK Telecom has launched an OTT platform called Wavve in order to compete with Netflix. Furthermore, Kakao subsidiary Kakao M will launch Talk TV in 2020 with a focus on short video clips. In addition, Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will make inroads into the Korean market as early as 2020. Therefore Wavve, Talk TV, and Netflix Korea will have more competition this year.

The Rise of the Gaming Industry in South Korea

The gaming industry in South Korea makes up 13% of the entire content industry in South Korea. It has been growing at a 6% rate year after year and the trend is not slowing down even during COVID. The export volume of gaming content is expected to reach over $6.4 billion in 2020 thanks to Korean hits such as PUBG and MMORPG Black Desert just to name a few. Therefore there is not only a high demand for game developers but more and more young Koreans want to work in the gaming industry in Korea. Therefore the gaming industry in South Korea will contribute a lot to Korea’s job creation market.

There are globally competitive gaming startups in Korea in the online/mobile gaming industry that are also on the rise. Unicorn gaming startups such as NC Soft, Netmarble, Krafton, and etc remain key players in the gaming market not just in Korea but internationally as well.

KOCCA has been supporting the gaming industry in Korea for years. They have helped Korean gaming startups scale up through investments into their HR training and infrastructure. In addition, KOCCA is looking to develop Esports in Korea by incorporating the latest technologies such as VR and AR. With the adoption of 5G technology in Korea, look for new and innovative gaming startups to come out of South Korea.

The Rise of K-Animation

KOCCA has been funding K-Animation for many years now through annual projects. Some of these projects offer funds up to 2 million won ($1,700) for promising animations. Some of these animations have found success on streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, Ghana’s GHone TV, and the Chinese portal site Tencent. Since COVID-19, contactless contents have been able to spread rapidly around the world through OTT, and this trend does not seem to be letting up anytime soon. Sales of the Korean animation industry surpassed over $620 million in 2019 and over $800 million in 2020.

What is the Korea Creative Content Agency?

KOCCA BuildingKOCCA was founded in 2009 as a government agency that deals with policy and actions regarding the promotion of Korea’s content industry. Their goal is to develop Korea into one of the world’s top 5 producers of content. In doing so, they will play a vital role in creating jobs and improving the quality of life in Korea. Therefore KOCCA is in charge of supporting the development and production of Korean content. These forms of content include: 

  • Television
  • Films
  • Gaming
  • Comics
  • Animation
  • Character Licensing
  • Fashion
  • Technology 

KOCCA helps the expansion of Korean content to the global market. Therefore, they have created strategic bases for overseas business in Los Angeles, San Paulo, London, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Shenzhen, Jakarta, and Tokyo just to name a few. They are continuing to develop new markets to promote Korean content. These strategic bases offer 1 to 1 business consulting, localization support, and overseas application. Furthermore, they help with the marketing of Korean content and products abroad.  

The “Age of Light” Project in Gwanghwamun

KOCCA Age of Light in Gwanghwamun

One of the biggest projects for KOCCA for 2021 will be the “Age of Light” project in Gwanghwamun. The project will turn Gwanghwamun into a hub for history, art, and culture through 8 immersive works. The aim is to create a content “Renaissance” in Korea through immersive content that people can enjoy. It has the full support of South Korean President Moon Jae-in who said it was an essential initiative in Korea’s K-New Deal Culture Content Industry Strategy.

The “Age of Light” Project will turn Gwanghwamun into a playground that features the latest tech advancements. It will have VR, AR, AI, and holograms that incorporate 5G technology. The South Korean government will allocate over $300 million through 2025 to develop immersive content and nurture over 1,400 professionals in the immersive content field.

“The best way to heighten demand for something is to let people experience it themselves. So by creating a place where people can experience immersive content, we plan to “immerse” people in immersive content at the center of Korea,” said Kim Young-jun the President of KOCCA.

Immersive Experiences at Age of Light in Gwanghwamun

  • Gwanghwa View – This will be an AR project that will be released in March of 2021. It will tell the story of Gwanghwamun through the visitor’s smartphones. By traveling to different Gwanghwamun hotspots such as the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History and the Sejong Center. In addition, visitors will be able to view AR K-pop concerts that will be held around Gwanghwamun Square.
  • Gwanghwa Park – This 5G Media Art Exhibition will allow people to sit inside the Gyeongbok Palace Subway Station.
  • Gwanghwa World Tree – Pictured above, this will be a massive tree-shaped public art installation that uses 5G technology. It will be installed at Gwanghwamun Square.
  • Gwanghwa Treasure Hunt – This will be an AR game tour around the Gwanghwamun neighborhood. Visitors will be able to play a treasure hunt game using AR technology.

Gwanghwa Media Canvas – This will be a large-scale interactive LED panel media work that will be installed outside the walls of the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History.

International Events Hosted by KOCCA

Mu:con 2019

  • Mu:CON – A global music convention that focuses on promoting K-Pop to international markets. In addition, they bring in experts from Korea and abroad to affiliate business opportunities.  
  • KNock (Korea’s New Offer for Content of Korea) – KNock is an IR event to attract investors for new Korean content and products.  
  • Its Game – Exhibition of Korean content for the global gaming industry. 
  • Character & Licensing Fair – This is the largest content licensing fair in Asia that attracts over 300 Korean and international character and licensing companies.  
  • BCWW (Broadcast Worldwide)- This is a global content convention for broadcast programs that highlight global media trends and promote broadcast content in international markets.  
  • NCC (Next Content Conference) – An International forum that showcases the latest Culture Technology (CT) trends used in creating and supporting content.  
  • K-Content Expo – The K-Content Expo takes place all around the world. It is co-sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. The expo is great for export consultations, networking, K-pop performances, displays of Korean beauty, fashion, food, merchandise, and cultural exhibits and events.

In order to continue the rise of Korean content, innovation will be the key. Therefore, Korean movies, music, and cultural products need to continually innovate. This is where KOCCA will play a major role in the innovation of Korean content. In addition, KOCCA analyzes the latest trends and statistics and develops long-term strategies for the Korean content industry. Furthermore, it will be vital to continue to capitalize on the popularity of the Korean wave and keep its appeal to the global audience.  

KOCCA’s Support of the Korean Startup Ecosystem 

Content Korea LabKOCCA is very active in supporting the Korean startup ecosystem. They started CKL (Content Korea Lab) that helps entrepreneurs in Korea turn their ideas into startups. CKL is a platform that offers mentoring, networking, funding, and marketing for content creation startups. In addition, they offer open space and facilities to promote creative activities and form prototypes. They have different levels of support for each stage of a startup. For example, there is the Startup Farm, Content Startup League, and Startup Masters. To generate innovative ideas from entrepreneurs in Korea, CKL has created the Idea Fusion Factory which is a kind of imagination camp. In addition, KOCCA runs content creation training for teenagers, supports content-specialized high schools in Korea, and an online Content Academy.  

KOCCA operates programs to support content firms to help Korean startups go global. Some of these firms include the Global Game Hub Center, Popular Culture & Art Support Center, CKL Business Support Center, CKL Planning Center, and the Story Creation Center (Ilsan Center).  

KOCCA Opens a Content Creator Support Center in Los Angeles 

KOCCA opened up a new facility in Los Angeles to support content creators, Korean artists, and business ventures in the US market. It is a support center that offers exhibition rooms, meeting rooms, and expert consulting for funding and business development.

KOCCA’s support of Women’s Rights Issues

KOCCA signed an MOU with the Women’s Human Rights Institute of Korea, the Korean Artists Welfare Foundation, and the Korean Film Council for their cooperation in creating education programs dealing with sexual violence and a hotline system for victims. In addition, KOCCA has started providing basic cultural education for teenage artists which includes sex-related issues.  

The Future of Korean Content Exports 

BTS 2020South Korea’s export of Korean content did not slow down in 2019. The export of Korean content reached close to $12 billion in 2019. This is an average annual growth of 16% over the past five years.  

  • 2014 – $5.4 billion
  • 2015 – $5.8 billion
  • 2016 – $6.2 billion
  • 2017 – $8.9 billion 
  • 2018 – $10.1 billion 
  • 2019 – $12.2 billion 
  • 2020 – $15 billion??

There are over 2,500 cultural content companies in Korea that employ over 650,000 people. Therefore, Korea knows the importance of content creation, content marketing, and content strategy. The world is changing and those changes are being determined by consumers. These consumers are what is driving the latest content trends. KOCCA hopes to enrich the lives of not only Koreans but people all over the world with creative content.