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Culture industry surplus falls flat

Nov 07,2019

For the first time in five years, Korean cultural content failed to reap profits due to the influx of Marvel and other Hollywood blockbusters, according to statistics from the Bank of Korea on Wednesday.

In the category of “revenue from services related to music and films” for the month of September, the total profits made tallied up to zero. This is the first time the category failed to make a surplus since 2014.

The current account surplus from services related to music and film is flat because the earnings that Korea gained from selling music, films and TV programs abroad are equal to the earnings made by foreign cultural contents in Korea.

Due to the Hallyu wave in China and across Asia since 2014, the category has always profited. In October 2014, the category recorded a $14.2 million surplus. In August this year, it recorded a $28.8 million surplus.

Due to the rising fame of BTS and other local singers overseas, the division recorded $321 million worth of total profit last year.

However, due to the release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Aladdin” and “Toy Story 4,” the profit made by American film companies increased and seems to have affected the surplus.

Other reasons behind the fall are being credited to increased use of streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube.

By Lee Jae-lim