South Korea's exports of cultural content maintained their upward momentum last year.
The country’s content exports increased 8.4 percent in 2018 from the previous year to reach US$9.55 billion (11.29 trillion won), according to a report released by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency on July 29. The figure recorded an annual average growth of 16 percent over the last five years. Korea’s cultural content exports grew from US$5.27 billion (6.23 trillion won) in 2014 to US$5.66 billion (6.69 trillion won) in 2015, US$6 billion (7.13 trillion won) in 2016 and US$8.81 billion (10.42 trillion won) in 2017.
By sector, exports of video games stood at US$6.39 billion (7.56 trillion won) last year, accounting for 66.9 percent of the total, followed by trade characters at US$733.34 million (867.03 billion won), knowledge information at US$644.10 million (761.46 billion won) and music at US$564.17 million (666.96 billion won). In terms of export growth rate, animation posted 19.5 percent, followed by cartoons with 14.4 percent, publications with 12.7 percent, trade characters with 10.5 percent, broadcasting with 10.3 percent and music with 10.1 percent). Video game exports surged by over 80 percent in 2017 but the growth rate tumbled to 7.9 percent last year.
The report said domestic content industry sales were up 5.2 percent last year to 119.11 trillion won (US$100.74 billion). Excluding animation which suffered a 1.9 percent drop, all other sectors showed sales growth, with 11.9 percent in music, 9.7 percent in knowledge information, 7 percent in cartoons, 6.3 percent in broadcasting and 6 percent in video games. By sector, annual sales reached 21.05 trillion won (US$17.80 billion) for publication, 19.18 trillion won (US$16.22 billion) for broadcasting, 17.22 trillion won (US$14.56 billion) for advertising, 16.50 trillion won (US$13.96 billion) for knowledge information and 13.93 trillion won (US$11.79 billion) for video games.
The number of employees in the nation's content industry increased 1.4 percent to reach 653,615 last year. The latest report surveyed 2,413 cultural content companies and analyzed data of 118 listed content companies and was based on data of macroeconomic statistics from the Statistics Korea and the Bank of Korea.