KT to invest 175 bln won in media unit

September 20, 2021

 KT Corp., a South Korean telecom giant, said Friday it will purchase 175 billion won (US$150 million) worth of stocks in its media unit KT Studio Genie as part of efforts to bolster its growing entertainment business.

The telecom operator said it will purchase 8.75 million shares in the wholly-owned company at 20,000 won a piece. The latest stock purchase will increase KT’s total investment in KT Studio Genie to 227.8 billion won.

KT created the media unit in January this year 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.

KT Studio Genie plans to use the latest investment to create 20 shows annually by 2025, as well as an intellectual property library of 1,000 pieces of content by the same year.

The telecom giant’s latest investment comes as video streaming platforms have stepped up spending on original content in South Korea.

Netflix has promised to spend $500 million on Korean content this year, while Wavve, operated by the country’s three major broadcasters and mobile carrier SK Telecom Co., plans to invest 1 trillion won in content by 2025.

The competition between streaming platforms is set to intensify as Disney+ will launch in the country in November.

KT CEO Ku Hyeon-mo said earlier this week the telecom operator will likely partner with Walt Disney Co. to offer Disney+ on its internet protocol TV platform.

This file photo, taken May 11, 2021, shows KT Corp.'s headquarters in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

This file photo, taken May 11, 2021, shows KT Corp.’s headquarters in central Seoul. (Yonhap)