The film SPACE SWEEPERS is the first SF film produced in Korea and spent approximately USD 22 million for the pure production cost, drawing attention in more than 80 countries worldwide as soon as it was released on Netflix. From the production stage of SPACE SWEEPERS to its worldwide release, the process entails changes in the patterns of content investment, due to shifts in the media industry.
Huayi Tencent, founded by the Chinese filmmaker Huayi Brothers and the Internet company Tencent, is the largest investor in SPACE SWEEPERS. Huayi Tencent invested USD 4.5 million, which covers 20% of the production cost. In May 2019, the South Korean game company NC Soft invested USD 9 million in Merry Christmas, an investment distributor of SPACE SWEEPERS. More than 4,900 individuals applied to the crowdfunding platform for pre-registration of investment in this project. There was also participation from financial firms such as IBK (Industrial Bank of Korea) and Michigan Venture Capital. Finally, as Netflix acquired the distribution rights with USD 28 million, SPACE SWEEPERS was eventually released worldwide.
As seen from this example, the method of investing in content is becoming more complex as the media industry expands. In line with this, digitalized content investment methods are appearing. Examples include blintn and Goviddo, which are leading the digitalization of investments in film and TV series production.
In order for producers to receive investment in established markets, they had to specifically sell and pitch directly to each investor. However, there were problems with time inefficiency and information asymmetry in the form of direct pitching. In particular, it was more difficult to acquire and select information when the investment was kept at the international level. The problem is demonstrated by the fact that Korea Investment Partners has been scammed USD 8 million in investment in Hollywood films.
To solve this problem, blintn focused on digital innovation in production investments. blintn analyzes data on the characteristics of content and trends in the media market region-by-region. Based on this analysis, it establishes and curated funding structures suitable for each content. This helps production companies secure more diverse investment channels and investors have more choice of content that meets their investment needs.
In addition to that, financial investors such as non-media companies and funds have also increased opportunities to participate in content investments. The rapid growth of the OTT market is driving the movement of innovation across the content industry. In line with this trend, the specialized digital platforms that have emerged are expected to accelerate the global content industry’s virtuous cycle.