Fast Company has recognized WEBTOON, the leading digital comics platform worldwide, as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2023. WEBTOON has revolutionized webcomics and is rapidly expanding its global impact in entertainment, publishing, and intellectual property. It ranked first in the Media category and was among the top 10 companies on the list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.
The latest edition of the list showcases the biggest names in their respective industries, driving innovation and leading the way for future breakthroughs. These companies have set new standards and achieved remarkable accomplishments that have transformed the modern world. Apart from the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, the list includes 540 organizations across 54 sectors and regions that are also acknowledged for their outstanding contributions.
“WEBTOON was founded to make it easier to create and read comics on mobile devices,” said Junkoo Kim, WEBTOON Founder and Global CEO. “As a lifelong comics fan, I’m thrilled to see that vision inspire a new generation of creators, bring more fans to comics, and receive this incredible recognition. This achievement isn’t just about WEBTOON, it’s a recognition of our global creator community and their creativity. Their stories and artistic innovations have transformed comics and entertainment for a new generation, and I want to congratulate every WEBTOON creator as part of this news.”
“Our storytelling technology platform has inspired diverse comic creators and fans around the world,” said Ken Kim, CEO, WEBTOON Americas. “Comics have never been more popular and we’re incredibly proud to be part of the medium’s evolution. With our IP & Creator ecosystem, our massive global audience, and accessible platform, we’re incredibly proud to bring comics to the mainstream on our platform, and to screens and bookshelves everywhere.”
WEBTOON revolutionized the comics industry by introducing the mobile vertical scroll format for webcomics, which simplified the process for creators to publish and share their stories with audiences worldwide. This innovation has resulted in a billion-dollar business and an unrivaled ecosystem of IP and creators, with a diverse range of capabilities including TV and film production through Wattpad WEBTOON Studios, serialized fiction via YONDER, web novels from Wattpad, gaming through Studio Lico, and much more.
WEBTOON collaborates with major entertainment brands to expand their intellectual property and engage with the vast Gen Z audience on their platform. The company has formed partnerships and content collaborations with leading enterprises such as DC, Marvel, McDonald’s, Archie, and HYBE, to name a few. Notably, the record-breaking BTS-inspired webcomic series, 7FATES: CHAKHO, was a result of WEBTOON’s partnership with HYBE.
In addition to its online success, WEBTOON’s content has also achieved remarkable results in traditional publishing. Penguin Random House published Rachel Smythe’s webcomic sensation, Lore Olympus, and the first three volumes promptly soared to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list. Furthermore, WEBTOON Unscrolled, the company’s graphic novel imprint, launched in 2021, making popular titles like Tower of God and True Beauty readily available to readers worldwide. WEBTOON’s creator-friendly business model has fostered an innovative creator economy for comic artists across the globe. Between 2020 and 2021, the company paid out over USD $27M to English language creators, averaging more than USD $1M per month. In Korea, where the creator model is more established, top creators can earn an average of $250k annually.
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With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. The motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot, and I'll likely make a film sometime in the future.