SM Entertainment's cultural content exports hit $117m

KOREA - Thanks to the growing global popularity of K-pop, exports of Korean cultural content marked a remarkable success last year, with one exporter hitting 100 billion won (S$117 million) in exports for the first time in the industry, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Sunday.

According to an administrative report to Rep. An Min-suk of the Democratic Party, S.M. Entertainment, the country's most profitable showbiz agency with stars such as SNSD, TVXQ and Super Junior, marked 103.6 billion won in exports in 2012. In 2011, the company brought in 48 billion won.

YG Entertainment, home to K-pop sensation Psy, marked 53.4 billion won in 2012, up from 31.8 billion won in the previous year.

Loen Entertainment, operator of, the country's largest digital music distributor, also marked 3.7 billion won while Soribada, Melon's competitor, reported 4 billion won, up from the previous 1.2 billion won.

The film industry saw some fruits, too. CJ E&M, one of the most powerful content producers in the nation, exported 35.3 billion won in motion pictures, including "Masquerade" and "A Werewolf Boy." Show Box-Mediaplex also sold 1.8 billion won worth of films overseas.

CJ also saw some additional sweet spots in TV programs and programme format exports. It marked 78.4 billion won in sales to foreign countries, followed by SBS Content Hub's 77.6 billion won. iMBC, an affiliate of MBC, saw 7.8 billion won in overseas sales.

Televised home shopping networks also had some positive results. GS Home Shopping and CJ O'Shopping reported 11.4 billion and 8.9 billion won in export.

In computer game industry, Neowiz Holdings marked 326.6 billion won in exports, up from 287.7 billion won in the previous year, which is the highest among listed firms in the sector. We Made Entertainment, NC Soft and Actoz Soft reported 82.1 billion won, 75 billion won and 74.5 billion won, respectively.

The ministry in 2012 announced a blueprint to raise the amount of cultural content export to reach 24 trillion won (S$28 billion) by 2022.