JTBC Studio: Becomes Studio LuluLala, Plans Expansion

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Korean TV powerhouse JTBC is upping its recreation and altering its title to be able to keep on the forefront of the worldwide Korean content material explosion.

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Whereas the mum or dad broadcast group will maintain the JTBC monicker, its 15-strong cluster of manufacturing firms have been renamed Studio LuluLaLa, or SLL, as an alternative of the prosaic JTBC Studios. The phrase ‘Lululala’ is utilized in Korea to specific pleasure and journey. And it interprets simply sufficient.

Extra persuasive is the KRW3 trillion ($2.Four billion) that SLL is now promising to place into content material manufacturing over the three years 2022-2024.

That quantity, revealed at a press occasion this week, compares with the $500 million that Netflix dedicated to spending in Korea in 2021 and the $4.Four billion that CJ ENM (proprietor of Studio Dragon, Endeavor Content material and the brand new CJ ENM Studio) says it’ll spend over the 5 years between 2021 and 2025. (Regional analysis agency Media Companions Asia this month forecast that Netflix would enhance its funding and pump $750 million into Korean content material within the present yr.)

SLL’s subsidiary firms embrace Climax Studio (Netflix’s “Hellbound” “D.P.”); Drama Home (“SKY Citadel,” “The World of the Married”; Zium Content material (“Itaewon Class” and the upcoming Korean adaptation of “Cash Heist”); and Movie Monster (Netflix hit “All of Us Are Useless” and 2018 function movie “Intimate Strangers”).

Already highly effective, SLL sees itself as rising inside Korea and, more and more, abroad. Indicators of that got here final yr with the acquisition of U.S. producer Wiip (“Mare of Easttown”). Now, SLL says it’ll open a enterprise in Japan within the second half of 2022 and open a unit based mostly in Singapore, addressing the Southeast Asian market.

“The change of the corporate title implies that we’ll take a leap ahead as a world content material chief by increasing our studio enterprise in all instructions, together with drama, movie, leisure, digital, CG/VFX, music and administration,” SLL’s CEO Jung Kyung-moon mentioned on the presentation. “We are going to set up ourselves as the most effective premium content material producer [and] captivate viewers around the globe.”

He additionally likened the corporate to the British Broadcasting Company as a manufacturing sector position mannequin, albeit with out the general public service obligations.

Jung mentioned that he expects SLL to ship 35 exhibits this yr, up from 26 in 2021. These embrace: fantasy drama “The Youngest Son of a Conglomerate”; the upcoming Netflix originals “The Sound of Magic,” “The Unintended Narco” and “Cash Heist: Korea – Joint Financial Space” and Don Lee- (aka Ma Dong-seok) starring movie “The Roundup,” which has been presold globally.

JTBC Studio achieved KRW589 billion of income in 2021. The goal is to extend that to KRW2 trillion by 2024, with 40% derived from abroad. “Which means, we can be producing some 50 to 60 TV collection in that yr,” mentioned Jung.

He named 5 heads of division as essential to the modifications in manufacturing scale and methodology that he envisages as vital. They’re Park Jun-seo, head of manufacturing at SLL; Choi Jae-won, CEO of Anthology Studio; Lee Jae-gyu, director of Movie Monster; Byun Seung-min, CEO of Climax Studio; and Choi Jae-hyeok, SLL’s director of technique.

“The expandability of genres is rising to dramas, films, and leisure, centered on IP,” mentioned Choi Jae-hyeok on the presentation. “Via world OTT, the velocity of contact with the general public when it comes to bodily and cultural affect has elevated.” Together with Korean tech big Naver, JTBC final yr turned a minority investor in CJ ENM’s Tving streaming platform.

TVing has expressed equally bold targets for progress and to manufacturing. Netflix is presently the streaming market chief in Korea and with an enormous roster of acquired, co-produced and unique content material is the main distributor of Korean TV abroad.

“Up to now, the manufacturing scale and enterprise construction had been easy, however now manufacturing prices per episode has elevated and drama collection require the post-production quantity of two or three blockbuster movies, We have to act as a complete manufacturing agency that may plan and share [across units],” mentioned SLL’s Park Jun-seo.

Korea has been a powerhouse in world cinema, and the Korean theatrical market was the fourth largest on the planet earlier than the pandemic. However the sector has been severely hit by plummeting cinema attendances and, consequently, anemic releasing of native movies. SLL says it’s unlikely to neglect the sector, although it could grow to be extra selective of which tasks are given the theatrical remedy. “Movies that make audiences suppose they must be seen in a theater, as a result of their measurement or style, will survive,” mentioned CEO Choi Jaewon.

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