South Korean firm Kakao Entertainment was recently making music industry headlines with its dispute with Spotify that briefly saw a significant chunk of K-Pop music removed from the streaming service.
Kakao Entertainment – part of tech giant Kakao Corp – is about much more than music however: it’s a film studio, talent agency and now it is going big on storytelling apps, with two acquisitions of US companies.
Reuters reported that Kakao is acquiring comics app Tapas for $510m, and serialised fiction app Radish for $440m. “We are planning to engage the North American market in earnest through the intellectual property (IP) business,” Kakao Entertainment’s CEO Jinsoo Lee told Reuters.
The company already has a thriving business in ‘webtoons’ in South Korea, but is hoping to follow suit in the west with its new subsidiaries.
There will definitely be opportunities for music artists in all this. Look at 2020’s BTS Universe Story, a mobile app that enabled BTS fans to create their own serialised comic strip stories about the group, for a previous example of the crossover.