|TBS President Takashi Sasaki, second from left, and Naver Webtoon CEO Kim Jun-koo, right, pose after signing an agreement to establish webtoon joint venture Studio Toon at TBS headquarters in Tokyo, on May 12. Courtesy of Naver Webtoon|
By Kim Jae-heun
Naver Webtoon has agreed to establish a joint venture, "Studio Toon," together with Japanese broadcasting network TBS and Japanese webtoon producer Shine Partners, the company said on Monday. The headquarters of Studio Toon will be set up in Seoul this month and it will start operating from June. A webtoon is a digital comic published online.
The three firms plan to join hands in producing intellectual property (IP) such as webtoons and television dramas. Original content created by Studio Toon will be published on Naver Webtoon's global service platform first and TBS will then make them into TV series.
It is the first time TBS has founded a joint venture in Korea. TBS is one of the top five broadcasters in Japan.
Naver Webtoon started its webtoon service in Japanese through Line Manga in 2013. The company has established itself in the Japanese digital comic market by securing about 70,000 webtoons in the last nine years. In March, it acquired Japanese electronic book firm eBook Initiative Japan to expand its online content business there.
"Webtoons are recognized as a source of IP to lead the content business around the world. Our joint venture, established together with TBS, will offer various entertaining content," Naver Webtoon CEO Kim Jun-koo said.
TBS President Takashi Sasaki also asked to look forward to its television dramas to be produced based on Studio Toon's webtoons.
"TBS is taking on the challenge of entering the new field of webtoons. We are glad to join hands with Naver Webtoon, the world's leading webtoon maker," Sasaki said.