By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- KT Corp., a major South Korean telecom operator, said Thursday that it plans to invest 500 billion won (US$410 million) over the next years to expand its lineup of intellectual property in media content.
As part of an ambitious goal to become the country's leading media group, KT said its media unit KT Studio Genie will first showcase 24 works of original content by next year.
In 2021, KT created the media unit to serve as the group's overarching control tower for its media content business, ranging from its video streaming platform Seezn to web novel unit Storywiz.
"Starting this year, KT Studio Genie will showcase well-made dramas and expand both distribution channels and production spectrum through partnership with businesses from both home and abroad," Kim Cheol-yeon, CEO of KT Studio Genie, said during a press conference.
The production company will first supply the titles to other affiliates under the broader KT Group, which operates a range of media platforms from internet protocol TV to video streaming service Seezn and holds 13 million paid media subscriptions.
The telecom giant's latest investment comes as video streaming platforms have stepped up spending on original content in South Korea amid the pandemic.
Local rival Wavve, operated by top carrier SK Telecom Co. and the country's three major broadcasters, has promised to invest 300 billion won in original content by 2023.
Global streaming service Netflix Inc. earlier said that more than 25 Korean-language works, including five original films, will be released this year.
Kim said KT aims to bring in annual revenue of 5 trillion won in its content and media sectors by 2025, up from 3.6 trillion won this year.
(News Focus) No parcel day: Why S. Korean delivery workers are taking a day off on Aug. 14
Advertising controversy grips S. Korean mukbang YouTubers
Seoul's last-ditch home supply plan still in doubt over its viability
Korean foodmakers ramp up overseas push amid COVID-19 pandemic
Bumpy road lies ahead for Samsung, even after heir avoids detention