Building a Creator Economy for Comic Artists: English WEBTOON Creator Payouts Surpass $27 Million Since 2020
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WEBTOON, the world’s largest digital comics platform, today revealed that payments on the platform to English-language creators have topped US$27 million since 2020.* As of Launching its first U.S. creator monetization program in 2019, creator payouts have increased over 75% as WEBTOON continues to build a creator economy for digital comics artists.
Supported by a growing number of creator monetization programs, WEBTOON has paid out an average of over $1 million to English-speaking creators each month since 2020. WEBTOON offers multiple ways for creators to earn money on the platform, from sharing of advertisements and purchases on the platform, CANVAS Creator Rewards and Originals contracts. Original creators receive generous advances and guaranteed minimum earnings. The company will also launch a new tipping system for CANVAS creators this year, expanding the ways fans can reward creators directly on WEBTOON. With a strong international localization program, WEBTOON creators can also have their work translated and localized for new markets, expanding their fan base and revenue opportunities.
WEBTOON pioneered the growth of the creator economy for digital comic artists in the United States, first establishing a local creator monetization program in 2019. After connecting a diverse new generation of comic book creators to millions of fans around the world, this move has allowed thousands of creators to start monetizing their content on the platform. WEBTOON enables comic book creators to reach a global audience of 82 million comic book lovers on the platform, build global fandom for their work, and earn money in multiple ways.
“WEBTOON’s creators are some of the most talented, creative and engaging in comic book history,” said Ken Kim, CEO of WEBTOON Americas. “Our storytelling technology platform supports all types of creators, enabling them to build a global audience and earn money from their work. In a time when comics have never been more popular , we are incredibly proud of the growth of the creator economy and the ecosystem we have built to celebrate and support WEBTOON creators.”
Revenue on the platform is just one of the ways WEBTOON creators make money. Creators are also eligible for lucrative TV, book, and movie adaptation deals with Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. WEBTOON’s global IP ecosystem and international television, film and publishing companies create significant opportunities for creators to earn money in new ways while building new fans for their work in new formats. .
WEBTOON plans to continue to grow the creator economy for digital comic artists, expanding the market for fans and creators globally. Founded in 2004 in Korea, WEBTOON has transformed the market for Korean comic book creators. The company’s highest-earning creator in Korea earned more than KR 12 billion (US$9 million) last year, demonstrating the potential for massive growth in English-language markets.
“We’ve built something really special at WEBTOON: a platform where every comic book creator can create a global fandom and earn money from their work,” said David Lee, VP of Content at WEBTOON. “We’ve been honing our creator-driven business model since 2004 in Korea, and now we’re bringing those learnings and revenues to our amazing American creators. But we’re just getting started, and you’re going to see more creators making more money. on WEBTOON as we grow the local market to help creators make money doing what they love.
WEBTOON’s US business has seen continued growth in creators and users since entering the market in 2014. The company currently has 15 million MAUs in the US, growing 50% from 2020. Globally, WEBTOON added 10 million users between January 2021 and February 2022, with 82 million MAUs today. . As digital comics continued to grow in popularity, WEBTOON’s total annual gross merchandise volume (GMV) reached US$900 million in 2021.
A series of high-profile content collaborations and partnerships with brands including Marvel, DC Comics, Archie Comics and HYBE – for the BTS-inspired record 7FATES: CHAKHO–as well as successful television and film adaptations and best-selling graphic novels have brought WEBTOON digital comics to mainstream audiences like never before in the United States.
Netflix has had huge success with WEBTOON adaptations over the past year. Global streaming hits All of Us are Dead, Sweet Home, Hellbound, Love and Leashes and The Sound of Magic all started on WEBTOON. We’re All Dead spent 11 weeks in Netflix’s Global Top 10 (non-English series) earlier this year. Heartstopper, Netflix’s hit LGBTIAQ+ romance, is also a popular digital comic on WEBTOON CANVAS.
In publishing, Rachel Smythe’s global WEBTOON sensation Lore Olympus reached No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list when it was released in November 2021. 1’s digital comic book, 2 Billion Views recently received its second Eisner Award nomination and is in development. as an animated series from Wattpad WEBTOON Studios and the Jim Henson Company. Hooky, Miriam Bonastre Tur’s teen hit, also hit the New York Times bestseller list last fall. WEBTOON Unscrolled, a new imprint of the Wattpad WEBTOON Book Group will launch its first titles in the fall of 2022.
WEBTOON® is the world’s largest digital comics platform, home to some of the biggest comics artists, IPs and fandoms. As the global leader and pioneer of the mobile webcomic format, WEBTOON has revolutionized the comic book industry for fans and comic book creators. Today, a diverse new generation of international comic artists have found their home on WEBTOON, where the company’s storytelling technology enables anyone to become a creator and build a global audience for their stories.
With a huge catalog of amazing digital comics from rising stars on the WEBTOON CANVAS platform and a growing list of superstar WEBTOON Originals creators, there’s something for every type of comic book fan on WEBTOON. With an average of over 82 million monthly active users and WEBTOON adaptations on Netflix, HBO Max and other screens around the world, passionate WEBTOON fandoms are the new face of pop culture. The company has worked with DC Comics, Marvel Entertainment, HYBE and many more of the world’s biggest entertainment brands.
The WEBTOON app is free to download on Android and iOS devices.
*Revenue only reflects payments from English-language creators on the platform. This amount does not include worldwide creator payments or income from television, film or editorial adaptations.