Digital Content Publishing startups in Korea are taking entertainment, media, and all forms of content into the digital space. Printed books, CDs, movies, and more are moving online at a rapid speed. The publishing and digital content industry have become more interconnected and flexible for direct delivery to customers. Digital content publishing startups in Korea not only have to stay up to date on the latest trends and technology but also constantly produce new and engaging content. 

As Korea shifts from traditional media to digital media, more and more consumers in Korea are getting their content online. This trend is only expected to continue as Korea incorporates 5G technology and consumers look to their mobile phones for content rather than their television. Koreans use their mobile phones to access content in Korea.

This article will exclude Korean webtoon startups as we have another article covering that topic.

So what are the top digital content publishing startups in Korea? 

Top Digital Content Publishing Startups in Korea

Radish

Radish Publishing Startup in KoreaPublishing startup Radish is a global web-based fiction platform that was founded in 2016. It targets the English-speaking market with short fiction. They break up book-length stories into smaller-length chapters. They not only offer user-generated content but also the Radish Originals Program where Radish produces their own content using their own team of writers. Therefore the content that Radish Originals Program creates is owned by Radish. They generate revenue through micro-payments. Therefore, users on the platform buy coins that allow them to unlock later chapters of a story. Some of the top stories generate millions of dollars and get over 30 million reads. It has a presence in Japan, North America, Greater China, Southeast Asia, and India. 

Radish was recently acquired by Kakao Entertainment for $440 million. The acquisition was aimed at strengthening Kakao Entertainment’s global web novel business. Now they will be able to expand their reach to the North American market and other English-speaking territories. 2020 was when Radish really started to gain traction. Their revenue that year grew by 10x compared to the year before. Radish will maintain management autonomy and will continue to operate under its name. However, the CEO of Radish Seungyoon Lee will now serve as the global strategy officer at Kakao Entertainment. 

“Radish has firmlly established itself as a leading web novel platform and yet we see even greater growth potential. With the combination of Kakao’s expertise in the IP business and Radish’s strong North American foothold, we are excited about what we can achieve together,” said the CEO of Kakao Entertainment Jinsoo Lee.

PUBLY

Publishing Startup in Korea PublyPUBLY is a content subscription service for working people. They have a large collection of webbooks and articles at the price of one book per month. They offer a monthly subscription model to provide millennials with original content through the mobile web and app. Furthermore, they offer the translation of content from overseas media such as the New York Times and Financial Times. In addition, they offer curated Korean content through their partnership with Korean media, magazines, and publishing companies. Their subscription fee is around $20 per month and to date, they have over 25,000 subscribers. PUBLY has raised over $5.5 million in funding from Korean VCs such as DSC and Investment and InterVest to name a few.

“We will be gearing ourselves up to provide the best learning experiences for the millennials who have a job. We will recruit more talented people for both our content and platform,” said the president of PUBLY, Park So-ryeong.

4by4

Publishing Startups

4vy4 is a startup that focuses on producing ultra-high quality video content. It uses AI technology for its video quality enhancement solution called Pixell. Pixell can enhance the video quality to 8K resolution using deep learning technology. The startup has produced VR content for LG Air Solution’s digital showroom. In addition, they produced traditional cultural media art content for Incheon International Airport. They also have a stock footage platform called KEYCUTStock where content creators can upload their videos and sell them to potential enterprise clients. The videos are converted into ultra-high-definition videos by using Pixell. Their library currently holds over half a million videos.

NEWNEEK

Newneek

NEWNEEK is a digital news platform that targets millennials. They offer news about Korea and the world through short easy-to-digest bites. It has a free weekly email newsletter. They cover topics such as politics, economy, tech, culture, and more. Since its launch in December of 2018, they have over 170,000 readers, mostly millennials who are interested in high-level current affairs that are not boring and easy to read.

YOUNIV

YOUNIV offers educational content for Gen Zs and millennials in Korea. They target those interested in expanding their education by creating video content for students. The content focuses on helping students in Korea prepare for their entrance exams. They are able to produce this content due to the fact that they have their own studio. It is one of the most influential digital media in Korea. To date, through their many YouTube channels, they have gotten over 3 million subscribers.

EINEBLUME (CHATIE)

Korean startup CHATIEKorean startup EINEBLUME is the creator of the chat fiction storytelling app CHATIE. It offers over 400,000 chat fiction stories and has gotten over 500,000 users. More than 70% of the users are teenagers. The stories on CHATIE are shared in the form of text messages between characters. Through these messages, they are able to tell fun, evolving, and creative stories. As the story takes place via a chat room, readers and read at their own pace. Users can create community chatrooms for writers and make various requests to them. In addition, they have gotten over $9 million in funding to date.

Geekble

Geekble

Geekble is a media startup that focuses on science and technology content. Teachers and professors in Korea have been using Geekble content to teach their students. Geekble also offers videos that have been used for public TV. They currently have over 1 million subscribers and have their own Makerspace for those looking to conduct tests and experiments. Moreover, their youtube channel has over 920,000 subscribers.