K-content exports hit record high in 2022

Korean Netflix original series "The Glory" was the third-most-watched content on Netflix worldwide during the first half of 2023, according to the streaming service. [NETFLIX]

The export volume of Korean culture content hit the highest ever in 2022, recording $13.2 billion and surpassing that of Korea's key export items such as secondary batteries and electric vehicles, the Culture Ministry said Friday.

The annual content export rose by 6.3 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year's $12.5 billion, the ministry said.

The number stands higher than that of secondary batteries at $9.99 billion, EVs at $9.8 billion and home appliances at $8 billion.

The content industry includes 11 sectors, including publishing, music, video games, film and animation.

The content industry recorded revenue of 150.4 trillion won ($114.36 billion) in 2021, up 9.4 percent from last year's 137.5 trillion won and higher than Korea's overall industry growth of 3.3 percent, according to Statistics Korea data.

The number of businesses in the content industry increased by 5.7 percent to approximately 115,000 in 2022 compared to 2021, and the number of employees also grew by six percent to about 651,000, the ministry said.

The Culture Ministry secured a 2024 budget of approximately one trillion won ($763.7 million) for the content industry, the first time the budget surpassed 1 trillion won.

The ministry will also loan 1.74 trillion won to the content industry through various financing programs.

"As K-content is loved worldwide, we will nurture the content industry strategically on a national level, with solid support," Culture Minister Yu In-chon said in a press release on Friday. "We will continue to heed the voices of the market, not just statistical surveys, and prepare policies needed on the site to support the industry."