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					      Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the
              popularity of Korean TV dramas in a global market



                                                                                Veluree Metaveevinij*

                                               บทคัดยอ

           “ฮันริว” เปนชื่อที่ใชเรียกปรากฏการณความนิยมวัฒนธรรมกระแสนิยมของประเทศเกาหลี
ใตซึ่งเกิดขึ้นในหลายประเทศโดยเฉพาะประเทศในแถบเอเชีย ปรากฏการณนี้เริ่มจากความนิยมใน
สื่อทางวัฒนธรรมของประเทศเกาหลี อาทิ ละครทีวี ภาพยนตร และดนตรีปอบ ละครทีวีเกาหลีที่มี
ชื่อเสียงโดงดัง เชน เพลงรักในสายลมหนาว (Winter Sonata) แดจังกึม จอมนางแหงวังหลวง
(Jewel in the palace) และสะดุดรักที่พักใจ (Full House) มีสวนทําใหนักทองเที่ยวนับลานเดินทาง
ไปยังประเทศเกาหลีใต นํารายไดนับพันลานเขาสูประเทศ และที่สําคัญที่สุด สรางใหเกิดเอกลักษณ
ของชาติเกาหลีในสายตาของคนทั่วโลก
           เมื่ อ เปรี ย บเที ย บกั บ ประเทศเกาหลี แ ล ว ประเทศไทยเองก็ มี ก ารส ง ออกละครที วี ไ ปยั ง
ตางประเทศ โดยเฉพาะประเทศในแถบเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต เชน กัมพูชา ลาว และเวียดนาม
อย า งไรก็ ต าม ประเทศไทย ไม เ คยได รั บ ความสํ า เร็ จ จากธุ ร กิ จ บั น เทิ ง ในระดั บ นานาชาติ เ ฉก
เชนเดียวกับที่ประเทศเกาหลีใตไดรับ ดังนั้นผูวิจัยจึงสนใจที่ทําการศึกษาวิจัยในประเทศเกาหลี ดวย
จุดประสงคที่จะนําอุตสาหกรรมโทรทัศนของประเทศเกาหลี มาเปนตนแบบในการใชละครโทรทัศน
เพื่อเพิ่มมูลคาทางเศรษฐกิจและเผยแพรวัฒนธรรมของประเทศไทย
           ทั้ ง นี้ แ ม ว า ความนิ ย มของละครที วี จ ากประเทศเกาหลี จ ะเกิ ด ขึ้ น จากหลายป จ จั ย
วัตถุประสงคหลักของการวิจัยครั้งนี้คือการศึกษาโครงสรางอุตสาหกรรมโทรทัศนของประเทศเกาหลี
เพื่อหาปจจัยความสําเร็จที่สงผลตอความสําเร็จของละครเกาหลีในตลาดสากล การวิจัยมุงเนนที่สี่
องคาพยพของอุตสาหกรรมโทรทัศนของประเทศเกาหลีไดแก รัฐบาล สถานีโทรทัศน บริษัทผูผลิต


*
 A lecturer in Cultural Management Program, College of Innovation, Thammasat University and a research
grant recipient of AMAFek (Art Major Asian Explore KNUA), Korean National University of Arts, Ministry of
Culture and Tourism, Republic of Korea
                                    วารสารเอเชียตะวันออกศึกษา
                                   Journal of East Asian Studies



และผูสรางสรรคละครทีวี ระเบียบวิธีวิจัยที่ใชคือ การใชขอมูลทุติยภูมิ การสังเกตรายการโทรทัศนของ
ประเทศเกาหลี และการสัมภาษณผูที่อยูในอุตสาหกรรมโทรทัศนของประเทศเกาหลีในสวนตางๆ
นอกจากนี้งานวิจัยชิ้นนี้ยังกลาวถึงอุปสรรคและโอกาสสําหรับอุตสาหกรรมโทรทัศนของประเทศ
เกาหลีในชวงอนาคตอันใกล โดยไดสรุปขอเสนอแนะสําหรับอุตสาหกรรมโทรทัศนของประเทศไทยใน
การสงออกละครโทรทัศนไปยังตลาดตางประเทศรวมอยูในบทความวิจัยชิ้นนี้ดวย

คําสําคัญ: ฮันริว ละครโทรทัศนเกาหลี ปจจัยความสําเร็จ โครงสรางอุตสาหกรรมโทรทัศน
            ตลาดสากล




100
Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
                                        Veluree Metaveevinij

                                               Abstract

         “Hallyu” is the phenomenon called for the popularity of South Korean pop culture
in other countries, especially Asian countries. It starts from the popularity of Korean cultural
media, such as TV dramas, movies, and pop music. The famous Korean TV dramas; for
example, “Winter Sonata”, “Jewel in the palace”, and “Full House” make million of tourists
come to visit South Korea, bringing a billion of revenue to the country, and, most
importantly, encouraging Korean national image in the whole world.
         Comparing to Korea, Thailand, also exports TV dramas to other countries,
especially Southeast Asian countries like Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. However, Thailand
has not been as internationally and widely successful with its entertainment business as
Korea and its cultural entertainment products. Therefore, the researcher decided to
conduct a research in South Korea because believe that Korean TV industry can be a
model for Thailand for using TV dramas as a tool to increase the economic value and
disseminate our own culture.
         Although the popularity of Korean TV dramas comes from several factors, the
main objective of this research is to study Korean TV industry structure in order to find the
key success factors which affect a success of Korean TV dramas in global market. The
research focuses on four bodies of Korean TV industry structure: Government, TV stations,
Production companies and TV dramas creators. A methodology is conducted by finding
secondary data, observing TV programs and interviewing people who work in Korean TV
industry. Moreover, this research also mentions about Threats and Opportunities for
Korean TV industry that is coming in the near future. Finally, the suggestion for Thai TV
industry, focusing on exporting Thai TV dramas in the global market, is also proposed.

Keywords: Hallyu Korean Television Dramas Key Success Factors
                Television Industry Structure Global Market




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1. Background                                                   Compared to South Korea, Thai
          Television drama is one of the              television dramas have also been
cultural products, which has high impact              broadcast for many years in neighboring
among audiences. This statement can be                countries such as Laos, Cambodia,
proven by a phenomenon of “Korean wave”               Vietnam and China. Still, Thailand has not
which is the name given to the increasing             been as internationally and widely
popularity of Korean popular culture                  successful with its entertainment business
including Korean TV dramas such as                    as Korea and its cultural entertainment
Winter Sonata, Dae Jang-Geum and Full                 products. Therefore, I wonder what the
House that have gained millions of fans               relevant factors that make Korean TV
among many countries in Asia. The Korean              dramas succeed in a global market are.
Wave is otherwise known as “Hallyu” which                       This quarry drove me to conduct
is a Chinese pun that also translates                 research focusing on key success factors
directly into Korean. Both “cold current”             of Korean TV industry structure with a full
and “Korean wave” are pronounced “han-                support from Korean National University of
liu” (or “hanryu” or “halryu” in Korean).1            Arts, Ministry of Culture and Tourism,
Hallyu has brought increased interest in              Republic of Korea. During my five-month
and favorable disposition towards Korean              research fellowship to South Korea
popular culture, such as TV drama, movie,             (September 2006 – January 2007), I intend
and music. Currently, the preference of               to figure out what “Behind the Scene” of
Korean culture has expanded from merely               Korean TV dramas’ success is as well as to
popular culture to Korean lifestyles in               find the way to strengthen the
general, including food, fashion, tourism (to         competencies of Thai TV industry in a
film locations) and sports.2                          global stage.


1
  Wikipedia, “Korean wave,” <http://en. wikipedia.
org/wiki/Korean_wave>, no date.
2
  <www2.hawaii.edu/~sukj/Koreanwave /hallyu.
htm>

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Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
                                        Veluree Metaveevinij

2. Research Objectives                                        People Republic of Korea (North
   2.1 To study the Korean TV industry                        Korea).
       structure
   2.2 To analyze the key success factors             4. Definition of Terms
       of Korean TV industry in a global              Key success factors        refers to the
       market                                             factors which have positive effects
   2.3 To use Korean TV industry as a                     towards Korean TV dramas in the global
       benchmark for Thai TV industry,                    market
       especially for exporting Thai TV               Korean TV dramas           refer to television
       dramas in a global market                          content that is scripted and fictional. In
                                                          this study, it implies with mini-series,
3. Research Scope                                         serial stories produced in Korean
   3.1 This research focuses on four major                language in limited episodes, which are
       bodies of Korean TV industry                       popular in Korea and other countries.
       structure including the following:             Korean TV industry structure         refers to
       - Government                                       a segment of economy concerned with
       - Television stations                              production and broadcasting of
       - Production companies                             television programs. In this study, it
       - Television drama creators                        implies with organizations that play
   3.2 The research scope is limited to                   major role in television broadcasting
       Korean TV programs and TV                          system including government, TV
       popularity rating during September                 stations, production companies and TV
       2006 – January 2007                                drama creators
   3.3 The researcher focuses on TV                   Global market refers to broadcasting
       dramas and TV industry of Republic                 industry all over the world, especially
       of Korea (South Korea). This study                 Asian broadcasting industry that is a
       does not involve with TV dramas and                main market for exporting Korean TV
       TV industry of The Democratic                      dramas.



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5. Literature Context                               to owners of registered sets and
     5.1 An overview of Korean TV industry          establishing a commercial rate for
          The era of Korean television              advertisers. However, criticism arose
broadcasting began on May 12, 1956,                 concerning the financing system of KBS,
when HLKZTV, A cornerstone in the                   the state-run broadcasting system, which
foundation of the future KBS-TV, was                depended on the reception fees from the
established as a commercial television              viewers as well as commercial revenues
broadcast station.3 However, during the             from the advertisers. In response to the
1960s, the influence of television                  criticisms, KBS decided to discontinue
broadcasting was still insignificant due to a       advertising broadcasting on May 5, 1969.
poor distribution rate of television sets.4                   Since KBS-TV discontinued
          During 1960s, two commercial              commercial broadcasting, there was fierce
broadcasting stations were established.             competition between the two commercial
Tong Yang Television Company (TBC-TV),              broadcasting stations to attract advertisers.
the first commercial stations in Korea was          After 1969, a heavy dose of entertainment
founded in 1964. The second commercial              programming         inundated      television
television system, Munwha Broadcasting              schedules. Melodramatic programming
Company (MBC-TV) made its debut in                  dominated the prime-time slot and
1969. TBC-TV remained a major competitor            produced fierce ratings competition among
of KBS-TV until it was absorbed by KBS-TV           the three networks. This entertainment-
in 1980.                                            oriented strategy resulted in the
          At the same time, the government          deterioration of programming standards.5
adopted new ways to finance its                               The early 1970s (1973-1974) were
broadcasting, charging a compulsory fee             characterized as a flourishing period of
                                                    television dramas. For example, TBC
3
   Kyu Kim and others, “An overview of television   broadcast a total of seven serial dramas
programming in Korea,” in Broadcasting in Korea,    including 45-minute daily dramas. The
(Seoul, Korea: Nanam Publishing House, 1994), p.
48.
4                                                   5
  Ibid.,p.50.                                           Ibid., p. 102-104.

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Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
                                        Veluree Metaveevinij

three television networks broadcast about             of growing public criticism of broadcasting
15 dramas everyday. As a result of the                media practices, many accused the
competition among networks for rating and             government of wanting to establish a
commercial revenue, an abundance of “low              monopoly over television broadcasting.
taste” programs hit the airwaves. And,                          At first the new system seemed to
public opinion was critical of those                  work, but it lacked a clear purpose and
programs. Therefore, on February 16, 1973,            failed to gain public support. This system
The Korean government revised the                     came to resemble the old commercial
Broadcasting Law of 1963 under the                    television system, except that the
pretext of improving the quality of                   government did not allow television stations
programming.                                          to produce news and public affairs critical
          As a result of this revision, KBS           of or potentially embarrassing to the
was transformed into a public broadcasting            government.6
corporation. A main provision of the revised                    Moreover, with the Broadcasting
law required television stations to allocate          Law of 1987, the Korean Broadcasting
at least 30 percent of their broadcasting             Committee was established to oversee all
hours to cultural and educational                     broadcasting in the country. The most
programming. As a result, there was a                 important feature of this law was that it
substantial cutback of entertainment                  guaranteed freedom of broadcasting.
programming and an increase in                        However, one of its main provisions
educational-oriented       and       cultural         required that television allocate at least 10
programming intended to reinforce Korea’s             percent of their broadcasting hours to news
identity.                                             programming, 40 percent to cultural/
          KBS-TV absorbed TBC-TV and                  educational programming and 20 percent
obtained the majority shares (65 percent) of          to entertainment programming.7
MBC. In effect, all of the nation’s
broadcasting systems were put under the
control of KBS. Although the government
                                                      6
argued that its action was taken as a result              Ibid., p.104-105.
                                                      7
                                                          Ibid., p. 105-107.

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          On August 1990, the government         public broadcasting brought more
decided to set up a working committee for        intensified competition among the whole
the establishment of a second commercial         population of broadcasters.8
television network. The government ended                   Since year 2000, another exciting
the 27-year-long freeze on new commercial        era of Korean television emerges. Korean
television licenses by granting a license to     broadcasters’ targets are not only local but
the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS-TV)           also global audiences. The success of
on December 15, 1990. This breakthrough          several Korean TV dramas, such as
paved the way for competition between the        Autumn in my heart (KBS, 2000) and
public and the private networks.                 Winter Sonata (KBS, 2002) leads to what
          The establishment of SBS brought       we call “Korean wave”.
changes in broadcasting environment. The                   In March 2004, in order to expand
private broadcasting system was viewed as        Korean culture through its global network,
a paying business with an efficient              KBS has set up and initiated its global
management structure and a possibility of        vision and construction the KBS Global
tremendous profits from commercials.             Center. MBC also enlarged marketing
Under these circumstances, the role of           department in order respond with foreign
broadcasting serving the public interest         markets. There is still a substantial demand
and its impartiality had to be set aside as a    for Korean TV programs, especially Korean
secondary value.                                 TV dramas.
          Moreover, the opening of SBS
brought about the improvement of                     5.2 An overview of Korean TV dramas
treatment for entertainers largely due to the            Overall, television drama in Korea
recruitment efforts of SBS competing the         can be divided into three main segments.
existing broadcasting networks. Another          The first segment is Morning Dramas,
technological breakthrough took place in         which have the broadcasting time from
the beginning of the 1990s with the              7.50 –9.00 a.m. Most of them are on-air
introduction of cable television service. In
other words, the coexistence of private and      8
                                                     Ibid, p. 107-108.

106
Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
                                        Veluree Metaveevinij

from Monday to Friday and have                        broadcast around 9.55 –10.55 p.m. (21.55 -
housewives as the target audience. The                22.55 hrs). This kind of dramas gains the
second segment is Evening Dramas, which               highest popularity among the audiences.
are on-air around 4.05 – 8.55 p.m. (16.05 –           And it is also the big resource of Korean TV
20.55 hrs). Target groups of the evening              dramas that are exported to a global
dramas are housewives and family.                     market.
Therefore, situation comedies and family
dramas are shown during this time. The last                5.3 Korean TV dramas that play major
segment is Prime-time Dramas, which are                    role in Korean Wave phenomenon



    “Autumn in my heart” (also known as “Autumn Fairly Tale” and “Fall Legend”)
Figure 1 Korean TV drama: “Autumn in my heart”




     * The pictures above are provided by KBS. Copyright KBS. All Rights Reserved.

           This TV drama directed by Yoon             create sequels of his drama with theme
Seok-ho, broadcasted by KBS television in             based on four seasons of Korea; Autumn,
year 2000, is a starting point of Korean TV           Winter, Summer and Spring. The results are
dramas’ international popularity. It is not           three following TV dramas, Winter Sonata
overstated to claim that Autumn in my heart           (2002), Summer Scent (2003) and Spring
is a first water-drop of Korean wave.                 Waltz (2006).
           After the success of Autumn in my
heart, Yoon Seok-ho had an inspiration to




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                                Journal of East Asian Studies



                 “Winter Sonata” (also known as “Winter Love Song”)
Figure 2 Korean TV drama: “Winter Sonata”




      * The pictures above are provided by KBS. Copyright KBS. All Rights Reserved.

         Winter Sonata is one of the most       Sonata, the popularity of Korean souvenirs
successful TV dramas in Korean history.         and other indirect economics effects.9
Winter Sonata has created the obsession of                According to Lee Hyang-Chul,
Japanese women towards Bae-Yong Joon            professor of Japanese studies at Kwang
(or, Yonsama in Japanese), the leading          Woon University in Seoul, Fans of Winter
actor of this drama. The effect of Winter       Sonata are women in their 40s and 50s, the
Sonata widely spread, from television to        age group that has the most discriminating
tourism, from culture to economics.             attitude towards Korea. They saw negative
         Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute of    aspects like the war and periods of
Japan has announced recently that the           dictatorship. But, now their attitudes are
economic effect of “Yonsama” Bae Yong-          changing and they are looking at Korea
joon and the miniseries “Winter Sonata” has
reached 230 billion yen, or 2.3 trillion won
in Japan and Korea. The revenue comes
from the overwhelming demand to visit the
ski resorts and hotels featured in Winter       9
                                                  KBS, “Effects of ‘Winter Sonata’ and Yonsama
                                                frenzy on economy,”
                                                <http://contents.kbs.co.kr/board/notice_view.php?i
                                                d=48&code=2&board_name=notice&boardjob=VI
                                                EW&page=2&keyname=&keyword=&code=2>, 22
                                                December 2004.

108
 Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                              global market
                                         Veluree Metaveevinij

differently.10 Today, even Japanese textbook Bae, Yong-joon under the title, ‘Korean life
for high school students featured            and culture & Japan’.11


     “Jewel in the palace”, produced by MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation) (also
                                 known as Dae Jang-Geum)

 Figure 3 Korean TV drama: “Jewel in the palace” (Dae Jang-Geum)




     Source:http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/culture/200601/kt2006011616582311690.htm




10
  Anna Fifield, “South Korea’s soppy soaps win
hearts across Asia,” Financial Times,
                                                       11
<http://contents.kbs.co.kr/board/notice_view.php?i           KOCCA, “Japanese textbook            features
d=50&code=2&board_name=notice&boardjob=VI              ‘Yonsama’,” KOCCA newsletter 181,
EW&page=1&keyname=&keyword=&code=2>, 14                <http://www.koreacontent.org/common
December 2004.                                         /print_en.html>, 31 March 2006.

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          Jewel in the palace is another TV          5.4 Reasons of the popularity of
drama that highly affects on Korean tourism          Korean Television Dramas:
industry. This drama based on a true story                After reviewing articles and
about a legendary girl (Jang-Geum) who          interviewing people working in Korean TV
lived during the time of Chosan dynasty,        industry, the researcher concludes that
when Korea had a rigid hierarchy and male       Korean TV dramas’ popularity comes from
dominated social structure. But Jang-           the following reasons:
Geum, using her talent and merit, became
the first woman to be the royal physician of         1) Right Place and Right Time
the King. Because the TV drama’s setting is                     Japan is always the leading
in Korean history, the storyline is open to             country who produces the popular
show many Korean cultural heritages such                culture in Asia and the rest of the
as cuisine, herbal medicine, and traditional            world. However, because the
custom. Comparing with Winter Sonata,                   political relationship between China
Dae Jang-Geum may not cause frenzy                      and Japan went worse in the 1990s,
effect among female audiences like                      Chinese started to disclaim Japan
“Yonsama syndrome”. But, it can capture                 and its culture. Moreover, since
wider target audiences than Winter Sonata.              Japanese culture became too
          After this TV drama was exported              westernized, audiences do not feel
to 17 countries, including Arab and                     that they can relate themselves with
European market, MBC decided to keep                    Japanese cultural products.12 That is
drama’s location setting to be “Dae Jang-               why Korean TV dramas come at a
Geum Theme Park” for the tourists who                   right place and a right time when
would like to get more experience about                 audiences want to find something,
their favorite TV drama.                                which is different from Japanese
                                                        culture and western culture.


                                                12
                                                  <www2.hawaii.edu/~sukj/Koreanwave
                                                /hallyu.htm>

110
Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
                                        Veluree Metaveevinij

   2) Balance Between Modernism and                           from the space of love between
      Traditionalism                                          woman and man. In contrast,
      According to an article “Cultural                       Jealously still showed a relationship
      contact with Japanese TV dramas:                        between mother and daughter and
      Modes of reception and narrative                        maintained family issue in its
      transparency” written by Dong-Hoo                       content.13
      Lee, it claimed that a root of several                  At the conclusion, Korean TV
      Korean popular TV dramas came                           dramas try to negotiate between a
      from Japanese TV dramas called                          new life style and an old culture
      “Trendy drama”. These dramas are                        value. That is why Korean TV
      emerged to meet the need of young                       dramas can serve the needs of
      generation during the late 1980s to                     Asian audiences who live in the
      the early 1990s.                                        modern societies but cannot ignore
      However, Korean directors try to                        their own tradition.
      create their TV dramas in a Korean
      socio-cultural landscape with                        3) Cinderella story
      balancing between modernism and                         An attractive story is a simple
      traditionalism. For example, comparing                  explanation for Korean TV dramas’
      between Japanese TV drama “Tokyo                        popularity. Even Kim Yun-chul,
      Love Story” (Fuji TV, 1991) and                         Director of “My lovely Kim Sam-
      Korean TV drama “Jealously” (MBC,                       soon” and Harrison Yu, General
      1992), both of them have similar                        Manager of Korean Broadcasting
      subject matters and main                                Institute, also mentioned about the
      characters. While in Tokyo Love
      Story young lovers sleep or live                13
                                                          Dong-Hong Lee, “Cultural Contact with
      together, in Jealousy premarital                Japanese TV dramas: modes of reception and
      sexual purity is maintained. Lovers             narrative transparency, ” in Feeling Asian
      just kiss and hug. Moreover, in                 Modernities: Tranational consumption of Japanese
      Tokyo Love Story, family is absent              TV dramas, ed. Koichi Iwabuchi (Hong Kong:
                                                      Hong Kong University Press), 2004, p. 269

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        scriptwriting as a key success factor              fulfilled the empty feeling of people
        of Korean TV dramas. Mr. Boo-sung,                 in a materialistic era. We can see
        General Manager of Marketing                       how the moral value shown in
        Department, Olive Nine Co., Ltd,                   Korean TV dramas affects other
        argued that Korean TV dramas story                 countries in the following statement:
        is like Cinderella story. It is simple.
        But, usually, there are main                    “Flowing naturally like water, hallyu is a
        characters that audiences get pity of               peaceful link bridging together the
        and want to see their happy-                        three countries of Korea, China and
        ending.14 Additionally, because                     Japan in Northeast Asia, where
        target audiences of TV dramas are                   confrontation due to nationalism
        women, seeing a female character                    and historical relations remains a
        win the entire struggle and live                    serious concern. As such it
        happily with her man also satisfied                 provides freshness to Southeast
        their need. They can relate                         Asian countries, which have been
        themselves with the whole story or                  uncomfortable with long-held
        even wish their live would be the                   antagonism        toward       Japan;
        same.                                               meaningfulness to the seemingly
                                                            materialistic and pleasure-seeking
     4) Asian moral value                                   cultures of Singapore and Hong
         Korean society is based on                         Kong, the most affluent areas in the
        Confucianism, which is a culture root               region; and cultural harmony in
        of China and Japan as well. As a                    contrast to Chinese hegemony.”15
        result, a Korean TV drama like Dae
        Jang-Geum, which displays Ethics,
        Values from Confucianism, has              15
                                                     Kim Dae Sung, “Hallyu: How far has it come?,”
                                                   Korea Foundation newsletter 14,
14
  Interview with Boo-Sung, Choung, General         <http://newsletter.kf.or.kr/English/contents.asp?vol
Manager/ Marketing Department, Olive Nine Co.,     =58&sec=11&lang=English&no=634>, November
Ltd., 29th November 2006                           2005.

112
 Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                              global market
                                         Veluree Metaveevinij

     5) Good looking actors and actresses                      1980s and early 1990s.17 The
        with sensible acting and expression                    success of TV dramas also draws
         Mrs. Haewon Chin, Senior                              investors and higher budgets. Even
        Marketing Officer of MBC TV station                    technology-oriented      companies
        thought that the gorgeous look of                      such as KT Company also decided
        Korean actors and actresses is the                     to invest in drama production
        main reason of Korean TV drama                         companies. The higher budget
        popularity.16 Additionally, Korean TV                  Korea production companies have,
        stars can act very well with a                         the higher production quality of
        sensible expression. In a tragic                       Korean TV dramas they can
        scene, both actors and actresses                       produce. And this leads to higher
        can cry to express their painful                       competency of Korean TV dramas in
        feeling. This kind of acting may be                    a global market as well.
        judged as over-acting. But, it can
        get along with a whole melodrama                    7) Low cost
        story that needs a lot of emotion and                  Comparing with cost of Japanese
        sensibility.                                           dramas, Korean TV dramas are
                                                               better choices for local TV stations.
     6) High production quality                                Its cost is ranged 1,000 – 20,000
        The Korean broadcasting industry                       USD per 1 episode, depending on
        became fully equipped with modern                      the imported country.
        television technologies in the late of



16                                                     17
  Interview with Haewon Chin, Senior marketing           Dong-Hong Lee, “Cultural Contact with
officer, MBC, 1st November 2006.                       Japanese TV dramas: modes of reception and
                                                       narrative transparency,” in Feeling Asian
                                                       Modernities: Tranational consumption of Japanese
                                                       TV dramas, ed. Koichi Iwabuchi (Hong Kong:
                                                       Hong Kong University Press, 2004), p. 264.

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Table 1 Standard prices for MBC TV dramas in global market
               Country                             Price
                                              (per 1 episode)
                Japan                     20,000 –100,000 USD
                Taiwan                          20,000 USD
             Thailand and                    4,000-8,000 USD
               Malaysia
               Vietnam                          1,000 USD
          Source: Interview with Haewon Chin, Senior marketing officer, MBC, 1st
                                      November 2006

            In several countries, Korean                 effectiveness of every segment in
        TV dramas’ price is lower than the               the industry.
        cost of local TV programs. And it
        can guarantee the level of               6. Research Methodology
        popularity rating as well. That is no             This research is qualitative
        wonder why there is still a demand           research which uses an in-dept
        for Korean TV drama in a global              interview as a major data collection
        market.                                      tool. The research process includes
                                                     the following:
   8) Well-structured television industry            1.) Search initial information from the
      The last reason is an assumption of                 secondary data such as articles,
      this research. It comes from the fact               documents and website of related
      that the success of one TV dramas                   organizations
      may be the result of a good director,          2.) Observing TV programs from the
      producer or scriptwriter. But the                   main Korean TV stations
      success of whole industry, like                3.) In-depth interview people who
      Korean TV industry did, should                      work in Korean TV industry
      come from the efficiency and


114
     Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                                  global market
                                             Veluree Metaveevinij

         4.) Analyze and summarize the key                      1.) Government: Ministry of Culture
             success factors of Korean TV                            and Tourism (MCT) and Korean
             industry that leads to the success                      Broadcasting Institute (KBI)
             of Korean TV dramas in a global                    2.) TV stations: Munhwa Broadcasting
             market.                                                 Corporation (MBC)
         5.) Analyze and summarize threats                      3.) Production companies: Olive Nine
             and opportunities of Korean TV                          Co.,Ltd.
             industry structure                                 4.) Television drama creators: Director,
         6.) Summarize a conclusion and a                            Producer and Scriptwriter of
             suggestion for the future of Thai TV                    Korean TV drama “My lovely Kim
             industry in a global market                             Sam-soon”
                                                           7. Conceptual framework
             Moreover, the researcher uses                           In order to demonstrate Korean TV
         purposive sampling to select the target           industry, the researcher expresses the
         samples in each body of Korean TV                 conceptual framework of this research as
         industry as the following:                        the following diagram:

              Figure 4 Conceptual Framework of Television Structure in Korea

                                                      Government

                                                                                              Rating-evaluate
 TV dramas creators                                                                               agency
(Directors, Producers
Scriptwriters, Actors)
                                             Broadcasting channels
                                              Free TV: KBS, MBC, SBS, EBS
                                                                                                  Audiences
 Production                                            Cable TV
 companies
                                                         IP TV



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         There are six major bodies of TV
industry structure: Government, Broadcas-       8. Research finding
ting Channels, Production companies, TV         8.1 Key success factors of government
dramas creators, rating-evaluate agent          organizations related with TV industries
                                                1) Changing organization according to
companies and TV audiences. However, in
                                                changing environment
order to study the key success factors and
                                                         Analyzing Ministry of Culture and
key risk factors of Korean TV industry, this
                                                Tourism, Republic of Korea, government,
research will focus on only four bodies:
                                                the researcher found that there were
Government, Broadcasting channel (focus
                                                several major changes in the organization
on free TV stations), Production
                                                structure as the following table.
companies, and TV drama creators.

Table 2 History of Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT)
 Year       Historical events
 1968       The Ministry of Information was replaced by the Ministry of Culture and
            Information and, finally, the newly born agency came to control all the cultural
            and arts affairs in Korea.
 1990       The Ministry of Culture was set up. With the advent of the new Ministry of
            Culture, printing, broadcasting and other mass-media related affairs were
            transferred to the Ministry of Information.
 1993       The Ministry of Sports and Youth, and the Ministry of Culture were integrated
            into the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
 1994       The Ministry of Culture and Sports expanded to incorporate tourism affairs that
            had been under the control of the Ministry of Transportation.
 1998       The Ministry of Culture and Sports was replaced by the Ministry of Culture and
            Tourism, and began handling affairs relating to the print and broadcast media,
            which had been the responsibility of the former Ministry of Information.
 2004       The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with the aim of strengthening the functions
            of cultural and art education, divided the Culture Industry Bureau and Culture
            Media Bureau.
Source: http://www.mct.go.kr/english/section/about_mct/history.jsp



116
Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
                                        Veluree Metaveevinij

         From Ministry of Culture and                 policies and strategic achievement. 18 The
Information in 1968 to Ministry of Culture in         data that KBI collects come from not only
1990 to Ministry of Culture and Sports in             the local but also international database.
1993 and, finally, it becomes Ministry of             And publications and database of KBI can
Culture and Tourism in 1998.                          be borrowed through broadcasting library
         These changes do not occurred                or searched through KBI web as well.
independently. But the Ministry itself was            Therefore, Korean broadcaster can know
changed according to the changing                     up-to-date information of global
environment. In 1993, after cultural affairs          broadcasting industries. It is a key factor
became more related with tourism industry,            that make Korean broadcaster can adapt
the cultural affairs were changed to be the           with the changing business environment
subsidy of Ministry of Culture and Tourism.           and media technologies.
And, it also set up “Culture Industry
Bureau” and “Culture Media Bureau” in                 3) Realizing the importance of human
2004 in order to respond with the popularity          resources
of Korean wave.                                               KBI tries to encourage human
                                                      resources development for Korean
2) Focusing on research and development               broadcasting industry. For examples, there
         Another government organization              are courses for working professionals (36
related with Korean TV industry is “Korean            courses for 407 people in 2002) and
Broadcasting Institute” (KBI). One of the             courses for prospective broadcasting
missions of Korean Broadcasting Institute is          personnel (workshops on program
collecting historical database, which is              production for university students).19 This
important for broadcasting industry.                  can make sure that Korean broadcasting
Examples of the data that KBI collects
                                                      18
include annual report of Korean                          Korean Broadcasting Institute, “Research and survey
                                                      on broadcasting and media,” <http://kbi.re.kr/english
Broadcasting Companies, market sizes,                 /about_page3_1.html>, no date.
                                                      19
                                                         Korean Broadcasting Institute, “Broadcasting
                                                      personnel development,” <http://www.kbi.re.kr/english
                                                      /about_page3_2.html>, no date.

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industry will have abundant of skillful and 5) Financial support
talent human resources in the future.                KBI has various financial support
                                            systems for program production to enable
4) Initiating corporation between academic producers to make competitive, creative
scholars and working professionals.         programs with cultural merit and distinction
           KBI has provided open forms for in this era of open broadcasting, using the
the development of TV programs by broadcasting promotion fund and the
contributing special articles, papers, and cultural industry promotion fund. It even
broadcasting-related criticisms, and played guaranteed the distribution and supply of
a mediating role between scholars and the distinguished programs, including
working professionals through the dubbing into foreign languages and
introduction of academic theories and the catalogue production, to actively
views of experts.                           encourage       local    TV      programs’
           Moreover, there are workshops on advancement into foreign markets.
program production for university students. (Financial support in 2002: one billion won
This factor enables to create educational for 19 programs.) 20
system with balance between practical skill    8.2 Key success factors of Television
and theoretical foundation.                 stations




                                               20
                                                 Korean Broadcasting Institute, “Financial
                                               support,”
                                               <http://www.kbi.re.kr/english/about_page3_7.html
                                               >, no date.

118
Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
                                        Veluree Metaveevinij

Table 3 Broadcasting stations in Korea

Broadcasting      Channel                                                TV                Radio
Station
                  Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)                       KBS 1             1R,2R,3R
                  25 local stations                                      KBS 2             1FM,2FM
                                                                         Satellite 1       Socail
                                                                         Satellite 2       Educational
Public
                                                                                           Radio Korea
                                                                                           Int’l
                  Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)  MBC TV                            MBC AM
                  19 local stations                                                        MBC FM
                  Korean Educational Broadcasting System EBS TV                            EBS FM
                  (EBS)                                  Satellite 1
                                                         Satellite 2
                  Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)        SBS TV                            SBS AM
                                                                                           SBS FM
                 Chongju Broadcasting Company                            CJB TV
                 (CJB)
Commercial Jeonju Television Corporation (JTV)                           JTV
                 Kwangju Broadcasting Company (KBC)                      KBC TV            KBC FM
                 Kyonggi Broadcasting (KFM)                                                KFM
                 Kyungin Broadcasting (iTV)                              ITV
                 Pusan Broadcasting Corporation (PSB)                    PSB TV            PSB FM
                 Taegu Broadcasting Corporation (TBC)                    TBC TV            TBC FM
                 Taejon Broadcasting Company (TJB)                       TJB TV            TJB FM
                 Ulsan Broadcasting Corporation (UBC)                    UBC TV
Source: http://www.kbi.re.kr/english/broadcasting.html


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1) Oligopoly nature                              have a significant difference.21 Therefore,
          According to Professor Kim Yun-        TV stations know quite well what kind of TV
chul, director and producer of “My lovely        dramas the market wants, although they do
Kim Sam-Soon”, there are three main              not have marketing research process.
players in TV drama market, KBS, MBC and
SBS. Therefore, the stations are under the       3) Copyright owner
market which is dominated by a small                       According to Mr. Boo-Sung,
number of firms. The decisions of one firm       general manager of marketing department,
influence and are influenced by the              Olive Nine Co., Ltd., 80% of TV drama
decisions of other firms. With the high          copyrights belong to TV stations. This
competition in an oligopoly market, each         factor makes TV stations be able to sell
station has to produce new attractive TV         broadcasting right in other countries.
dramas in order to gain popularity among         Therefore, there is a chance for making
audiences. That is why Korean TV dramas          profit not only in local but also international
can attract not only local but also              markets as well.
international TV audiences. Professor Kim
Yun-chul also predicted that if the              4) Outsource production teams
competition in Korean TV drama business                            KBS, MBC and SBS
still was like this, Korean TV dramas could      usually use freelance system. Producers,
sustain the popularity in global market          directors and production companies are
around 3-5 years.                                outsourcing. Even main actors and
                                                 actresses do not sign contract with TV
2) Creditable rating system                      stations. With this system, TV stations can
           There are two main rating agent       reduce fixed costs. But, they cannot ensure
companies in Korea, TNS media and                that producers, directors or actors who
Nielsen. According to the interviews,            used to create popular TV dramas will
people working in Korean TV industry quite
trust in rating-evaluate system. Figures from
                                                 21
two companies are not the same but do not           Interview with Haewon Chin, Senior marketing
                                                 officer, MBC, 1st November 2006.

120
 Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                              global market
                                         Veluree Metaveevinij

continue to produce successful TV dramas               supported by Korean government. After
with their stations. Even producers and                selling the dramas, TV stations will use
directors who are permanent staffs tend to             commercial and invite TV stars to promote
leave TV stations after they are famous. As            in other countries. However, sometimes, it
a result, there is no a strong commitment              is difficult for TV stations to ask TV stars
between TV stations and production crew.               joining the promotion campaign because
22
                                                       most of stars have their own managers or
                                                       sign contract with agent companies. 23
5) Marketing strategies
         For high competitive products, TV                     8.3 Key Success Factors of
stations do not need to promote or use                 Production companies
marketing strategies. Korean TV dramas,
which are successful in Korea, have a huge                      Most of popular prime-time TV
demand in the global market. Sometimes,                dramas in Korea are produced by
agent companies decide to buy TV drama                 outsource      production     companies.
when the production does not yet finishes              Therefore, there are a lot of freelance
because they think the cast or the synopsis            production companies in Korea. However,
are interesting.                                       the researcher chose Olivenine Co.,Ltd as
         Nevertheless, TV stations have to             a sampling target of this study because
give marketing supports for low competitive            Olivenine is a big company which
products. The strategy that TV stations                produced well known TV dramas such as
often use is international exhibition, for             Jumong (MBC, 2006) and Hwangjinyi (KBS,
example, international TV market                       2006). Moreover, the recent merger
exhibitions in Hong Kong, France,                      between Olivenine and KT company is also
Singapore and Korea. Usually, part of                  a model of synergy between content
exhibition or traveling expenses will be               company and telecommunication company
                                                       as well.

22
  Interview with Haewon Chin, Senior marketing
officer, MBC, 1st November 2006.                       23
                                                            Ibid.

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Figure 5 Olivenine Co.,Ltd. ’s business units

            - Creative                                     - Drama                                   - Media Marketing
Resources




                                     Contents Production




                                                                                Connected Business
              Resources(Writer,                            - TV Show                                 - Drama
              Director)                                       Program                                   Merchandising
            - Human resources                              - OST. Music                              - Star Merchandising
            - (Performer)                                   - Musical                                - Theme Park,
            - Technology                                      (Performance)                             Production
Network




              resources                                    distribution                              - Broadcasting
            - (Convergence)                                - HD movie,                                  channel (PP)
            - Business Network                                animation
            - Capital Network


1) Variety of broadcasting channels                          high bargaining power to choose the
         Because, nowadays, there are a                      condition of work that they prefer.
variety of broadcasting channels in Korea,
production companies are not limited to                      2) Economy of scope
produce TV dramas for only free TV                                     Economy of scope primarily refers
channel. They can produce TV dramas for                      to efficiencies associated with demand-
cable TV and IP TV, which are new media                      sided changes such as increasing or
trends. Even marketing officer of MBC, Mrs.                  decreasing scope of marketing and
Haewon mentioned that cable TV could be                      distribution. Regarding the economy of
a competitor for free TV because it could                    scope, Olive Nine is established in order to
give more preferable offer to the production                 produce TV programs, but it extends its
companies. As I noticed, one production                      business scope to other media services
company can work with all of three TV                        such as performer management, Theme
stations. For example, Olive Nine, it                        Park and brand merchandising. Therefore,
produced “Jumong” for MBC, “Hwang-Jin-                       the cost that Olive Nine spends is not
Yi” for KBS and “Lover in Prague” for SBS.                   allocated to only TV drama. But, it is shared
Therefore, production companies have a                       among several services that Olive Nine

122
Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
                                        Veluree Metaveevinij

provides which cause the higher                       are Kim, Eun Sook (Writer of Lovers in
distributing and marketing efficiency and             Paris and Lovers in Prague), Jung, Hyung
create the synergy between the completed              Soo (Writer of Damo, Jumong) and Kim
rang of products. So, the overall cost of             Cheol Kyu (Producer of Summer Scent)
Olive Nine can be reduced. In business
term, Olive Nine utilizes the Economy of              5) Synergy between telecommunication
Scope.                                                channel and media content
                                                                Recently, there is a changing point
3) Product line of TV dramas                          for Olive Nine after merging with KT
          Another key success factor of               Company, one of the biggest
Korean production companies is the fact               telecommunication companies in Korea.
that they can raise the profit from not only          Before Korea Telecom Co.,Ltd. (KT
TV dramas program but also TV drama                   company) decides the large scale
product lines. For example, during Hwang-             investment in Olive Nine on October 2006,
Jin-Yi, a famous TV drama broadcasted by              it also acquired Sidus FNH’s movie branch
KBS, was on-air; Olive Nine launched                  last year. Therefore, this acquisition creates
branding products of Hwang-Jin-Yi almost              a big synergy among telecommunication,
at the same time. However, doing like this            movie and TV drama business. The
also has limitation because the company               acquisition of Olive Nine will increase the
cannot ensure whether the drama is                    competitiveness of KT Company in content
popular enough for selling TV drama                   business and strengthen KT relationship
product line.                                         with broadcasting system, thus maximizing
                                                      KT capabilities and negotiation power, as
4) Full of creative resources                         well as content abilities.
          Although Olive Nine uses two
human resources strategy, permanent                   6) High budget
staffs and freelances, it has enough pool                     Because of merger between
resources of drama creators. Some part of             content providers and telecommuni- cation
Olive Nine writers and producers name list            companies, it increases potential of


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production companies to get a high              that Korean TV industry will be more
production budget. Moreover, nowadays,          competitive in the future.
Korean TV dramas can be sold not only in
local but also international market. There      2) The freedom of drama creators
are increasing investors who are interested               According to Prof. Kim Yun chul
in TV business.                                 Korean directors and producers quite have
         The high budget may be not an          a freedom in creating their own dramas
only one factor that can guarantee the          without intervention from TV stations. He
success of TV drama. But, the high budget       can comment a script from scriptwriter
also indicates that Production Company will     without TV station management approve.
be able to extend a production scale, hire      Moreover, marketing is not first important
talent production crew and TV stars like        factor for Korean producers and directors.
Jumong and Hwang-Jin-Yi.                                  “I’m a director. I just do my job. I
                                                don’t think I have to worry about arketing.
        8.4 Key success factors of TV           That kind of business should belong to
drama creators                                  business unit of TV stations”24
                                                          This statement is quite relevant
1)     The industry attracts talented people    with interview from TV station marketing
          Because Korean TV industry is a
                                                officer as following.
high return business, many more talented
                                                          “We (marketing department) can
people are attracted to be part of the
                                                give an advice to a production team. But, a
business. Even Ms. Kim Do-woo, a
                                                final decision depends on a production
scriptwriter of “My lovely Kim Sam-soon”,
                                                team because production team has to
said that she became an “idol” for the
young ladies who want to be a scriptwriter.
Unlike the past, the careers in
entertainment business become the
fascinating careers especially for teenagers    24
                                                  Interview with Kim Yun Chul, Director and
and young generations. This can ensure          producer of “My lovely Kim Sam-soon”, 23rd
                                                October 2006

124
 Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                              global market
                                              Veluree Metaveevinij

consider about production budget as                          together as a team. Ms. Kim Do-woo thinks
well.”25                                                     she gets a respect from co-workers as
         Therefore, creators in Korean TV                    much as she respects others. She does not
business have a freedom to create their                      involve with other process such as casting
own work. Marketing officers and TV station                  or costume because they are not her
managements do not intervene during the                      specialists. As a result, the researcher
production process. It does not mean that                    conclude that one of key success factors
Korean TV stations do not care about                         for Korean TV dramas is the fact that
marketing. However, Korean TV dramas                         Korean dramas creators can work as a
use contents lead marketing; marketing                       team with a respect on each other works
does not lead the contents. They quite                       and opinions.
believe that good products and good
stories, not a marketing force, are the                      4) Enough working time and return
beginning of success.                                                From an interview, Ms. Kim Doo-
                                                             woo said that she wrote one TV drama per
3) Teamwork                                                  one year.
      Scriptwriter and director work




25
     Interview with Haewon Chin, Senior marketing officer,
MBC, 1st November 2006.

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Picture 5 Duration of scriptwriting process

                       Start scriptwriting            Start production              Broadcast
        Synopsis

   6 months 5 months        4 months         3 months 2 months 1 month           0 month

          As a result, she has enough time        6) Professional institute for creative
to think thoroughly about the synopsis,                 workers
create the characters and discuss with the                   In Korea, there is an institute
director. However, this also means that the       called “KTRWA” (Korean TV & Radio Writer
return of writing script for one TV drama is      Association) which is private organization
enough for one scriptwriter to survive in one     established by one Korean scriptwriter.
year as well. Otherwise, there will be a          80% of Korean scriptwriters graduated from
pressure for scriptwriter to keep working in      this institute. Ms. Kim Do-woo, a scriptwriter
the industry.                                     of “Snow man”, “My lovely Kim Sam-soon”
                                                  and “Foxy lady” also got a certificate from
5) Opportunities for new raising stars            this institute. The establishment of
          There are opportunities for gifted      professional institute such as KTRWA is
people who are interested in entertainment        another key success factor for Korean TV
business in Korea. For example, there are         industry. With professional experience,
competitions for scriptwriters every year.        KTRWA can provide qualified graduates
Although talented persons do not have             who will become a next generation of
connection and do not know anyone in              Korean scriptwriters.
industry, they can turn to be professional
scriptwriter if they have competencies.




126
 Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                              global market
                                         Veluree Metaveevinij

         8.5 Threats of Korean TV industry             “Manga Kenkanryu” has published in
         Although several Asian countries              Japan.
supported Korean wave in order to balance                       China’s State Administration for
with Japanese popular culture, their                   Radio Film and Television (SARFT) also
national television programs are                       said last December that China had been
overwhelmed by Korean TV dramas, which                 too generous with the import of Korean TV
make people realize that Korean TV drama               dramas and called a stricter screening
is not just an entertainment. Zhang Guolin,            process. It said China could limit airtime for
a Chinese actor, has said China is                     Korean dramas to 50 percent.
becoming “a giant in importing foreign                          Soon after, China Central Tele-
culture” and watching Korean TV dramas                 vision (CCTV) said it would gradually
was tantamount to selling out the nation”. 26          reduce the amount of time allotted to soap
“Cultural imperialism” becomes a contro-               operas from Korea, and Beijing TV is
versial accusation for Korean TV dramas.               pondering a similar move and says it will
And, a signs of backlash against the                   start showing more Hong Kong and
Korean wave has begun in 2005.                         Taiwan-made soap operas. 27
         Though their tremendous success,                       Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Wen-
the long-term future of Korean TV drama                weipo newspaper also reported sign that
popularity is still in question. There is a            Taiwan is following Mainland China’s lead
warning sign that, in next two or three                in a drive to limit airtime for Korean drama
years, exporting Korean TV dramas to other             as well. The daily quoted Taipei’s
Asian countries will face an obstacle. For             Government Information Office (GIO) Chief
example, in Japan, starting from 2005, a               Pasuya Yao as telling the island’s
Manga (Japanese comic) with a title usually            parliament Tuesday that the GIO was
translated as “Hating Korean wave” or                  assessing a proposal to ban or limit foreign

26
  The Chosun Ilbo, “Taiwan, China united in
Backlash against Korean wave,”
<http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/20
                                                       27
0601/200601110009.html>, January 2006.                      Ibid.

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TV drama in the prime time slot from 8.00                      8.6 Opportunities of Korean TV
p.m. to 10.00 p.m. 28                               industry
          For Taiwan, the main reason for           The Changes of Media Technology:
limit Korean TV dramas’ airtime may be not                    IPTV (Internet Protocol Television)
nationalism or cultural conservation. Korean        describes a system where a digital
officers thought this action came from the          television service is delivered using the
fact that Taiwan has to protect their own           Internet Protocol over a network
dramas and support their own movie and              infrastructure, which may include delivery
television industries.                              by a broadband connection. IPTV is an
          In Southeast Asia, the cultural           interactive media which audiences can
confrontation is less than East Asia.               select TV program by themselves.
Unfortunately, there is a sign of Anti-Korean                 Audiences can watch IP TV with
wave as well. A high-level Vietnamese               TV set or mobile phone if there is an
government official recently threatened to          Internet access. Now, 80 % of Korean
stop broadcasting South Korean television           household has Internet access. Therefore,
dramas unless the South Korea’s TV                  within three years, IP TV will become media
networks introduce Vietnamese shows on a            for a future. This statement is relevant with
more equal basis. 29All of these warning            the research “challenge on IP TV”.
signs are the issue that Korean government          According to this research, supposed that
and Korean TV industry have to concern.             IPTV commercial launch begins in 2006 in
Otherwise, Korean wave will be like a               Korea, it is projected that the number of
firework, sparkling and disappearing only           subscribers would reach 570,000 in 2006
for a few minutes.                                  and increase up to about 3 million by 2012.
                                                    In addition, sales would record 160 billion

28
  Ibid.
29
   Asain Times online, “South Korea in trade flap
with neighbors,”
<http://atimes.com/atimes/Korea/GK12Dg02.html>
, 12th November 2005.

128
 Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                              global market
                                         Veluree Metaveevinij

KRW in 2006 and increase to 770 billion                The integration between telecommunication
KRW by 2012.30                                         and content providers:
                                                                 As above statement, media
The Changes of TV advertisement format:                content will be very influent in the future.
          Because of media technology                  That is why, recently, the big Korean
change, TV advertisement format in the                 telecommunication company like KT
future will be very different from the                 Company decided to merge with
present. There will be no real TV                      production house Olive Nine.
advertisement because audiences can                              KT announced it would invest in
program their own TV. They will not choose             production house Olive Nine to the tune of
to see any TV commercials. However,                    20.4 billion won. With such a hefty sum, KT
Korean broadcasters predict that home                  will acquire 8.5 million Olive Nine shares,
shopping channel will replace commercial.              becoming largest shareholders with a
Audiences can watch drama and buy                      19.12% share. CEO Go Dae-Hwa, formerly
products that actors or actresses use for              the largest shareholder, will leave with 4.3
play in drama. Otherwise, we can say that a            million shares (9.66 %). KT announced that
content and commercial in TV industry will             in addition to an enthusiastic investment in
be merged together. There is no line to                BCN (Broadband Convergence Network),
separate between content and commercial                they would invest in the contents field,
anymore. And the content business will be              creating a blue ocean of communications
very influent in the future.31                         infrastructure and media contents. With
                                                       their convergence model of communication
                                                       and contents, they now have a better
                                                       chance of entering the global market.
30
                                                                 In addition to Olive Nine’s drama,
   Interview with Boo-Sung, Choung, General
Manager of Marketing Department, Olivenine Co.,
                                                       entertainment program, music and celebrity
Ltd, 29th November 2006.                               management sectors, KT acquired Sidus
31
   Interview with Boo-Sung, Choung, General            FNH’s movie branch last year. With
Manager of Marketing Department, Olivenine Co.,        investment from KT, Olive Nine now has the
Ltd, 29th November 2006.

                                                                                                     129
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                                   Journal of East Asian Studies



financial ability to sign key actors and           Therefore, people in other countries will
produce more than ten dramas and                   realize Korean wave as a cultural
entertainment programs a year. Olive Nine          embracement, not a cultural invasion. 33
and KT will develop a new business model
for the digital media environment that will        The corporation among the organizations
maximize profit and take advantage of the          in TV industry
Korean Wave market. 32                                      Recently, there is a new
                                                   association called CODA (Corea Drama
The co-production programs:                        Association). Kim Jong-Hak Production,
           In order to resolve anti-Korean         Group 8, Olive Nine, Yoon’s color, DSP
wave problem, Korean government try to             ent., Logos film, Appletree Pictures, iHQ,
initiate more program of cultural exchange         JS Pictures, Chorokbaem Media, Pan ent.,
among Asian countries. Moreover, Korean            and many other production houses have
Broadcasting Institute (KBI) also                  already enrolled as member of the
encourages Co-production between Korean            association. According to official CODA
TV companies and other countries. Co-              establishment announcement, the main
production means using Korean production           reason for CODA establishment is to reach
facilities with other countries content. For       consensus through cooperation and
example, in Thailand, Korean production            development of Korean TV drama
crews work with Thai production crews to           companies. In order to continue the Korean
make Thai content. Korean government               Wave, Korean TV industry needs a medium
hopes that the localized process will              to help acquire the appropriate information
reduce the cultural conflict between two           and feedback. As a result, they have
countries. Korean government tries to              created the Corea Drama Association to
change Korean wave from one-way cultural
export to two-way cultural exchange.

32
  “KT and Olive 9 join hands: Fusion of
                                                   33
telecommunication and media contents,” ASTA TV,     Interview with Harrison Yu, General manager of
(November 2006): p. 82.                            Korean Broadcasting Institute, 6th December 2006.

130
 Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                              global market
                                         Veluree Metaveevinij

play the role of the medium and strive for a                  in order to produce the graduates who
better broadcasting culture together. 34                      can work effectively in a real business
                                                              sector. ;
9. Conclusions and Suggestions for Thai                  4.   There should be an effort to create a
      TV industry                                             synergy between content providers
         From overall research information,                   and telecommunication business. ;
the researcher concludes the following                   5.   The rating evaluate system should be
issues, which can be a benchmark for Thai                     reliable and reflect the real audience
television industry. :                                        behaviors. ;
                                                         6.   There should be an incentive for the
     1. The government organizations related                  people who work in the entertainment
        with TV industry should be flexible and               industry, both in form of return and
        adapted with the changing                             reputation. ;
        environment. ;                                   7.   There should be a norm, which
     2. An organization, which has mission to                 encourages teamwork among people
        conduct and develop researches of                     working in the TV industry. An
        current trends in broadcasting                        effective communication should be
        industry, should be established.                      created with a respect for each other
        Moreover, there should be a channel                   expertises and opinions. ;
        to disseminate valuable information to           8.   There should be an opportunity for
        the broadcasters in the real business                 new raising stars that want to enter in
        sectors. ;                                            an entertainment business. The new
     3. Higher budget should be provided on                   raising stars are not included only
        human resource development in                         actors or actresses but also creative
        broadcasting industry. Moreover,                      workers such as scriptwriters,
        there should be a linkage between                     directors and producers. ;
        education sector and business sector             9.   There should be an establishment of
                                                              professional association that has a
34
  “Corea Drama Association (CODA) What will                   role to create interactive community.
they do?,” ASTA TV, (November 2006): p. 66-67

                                                                                                     131
                                วารสารเอเชียตะวันออกศึกษา
                               Journal of East Asian Studies



     This community should encourage           10. Recommendations for the future
     people in the industry to share their           studies
     professional experience. In addition,               In order to use the Korean
     the association should be an              television industry as the benchmark for
     academic institute, which produces        Thai television industry, the comparative
     the talented young professionals for      studies between two industries should be
     the industry as well. ;                   conducted. The comparative framework
 10. There should be a “freedom space”         can rang from the industry structure, the
     for people working in television          media policy law & regulation, the viewer
     business, especially creative workers     behavior, the rating system to the
     such as directors and scriptwriters.      marketing practice. Also, it is interesting to
     They should have a chance to focus        compare between Thai television dramas
     on their own work without pressure        which are popular in neighboring countries
     from management decision. ;               and Korean television dramas which are
 11. The “content” of should lead the          exported in a global market. The question
     “marketing” of TV dramas. People in       which is still not answered is whether Asian
     TV business should believe that the       dramas, including Chinese, Japanese,
     secret of success is nothing more         Korean and Thai, have common factors that
     than the fact that they can make the      make them be able to overcome the
     audiences like their dramas. ;            cultural barriers and be popular among the
 12. The government should encourage           audiences in foreign countries. This would
     the corporation between Thai              help extend our knowledge of transnational
     broadcasting industry and other           media consumption in a globalization era.
     countries in order to make Thai
     broadcasters have an international
     working experience and prevent a
     cultural conflict as well. ;




132
Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
                                        Veluree Metaveevinij

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                                 วารสารเอเชียตะวันออกศึกษา
                                Journal of East Asian Studies



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Key success factors of Korean TV industry structure that leads to the popularity of Korean TV dramas in a
                                             global market
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                                                                                                    135
       วารสารเอเชียตะวันออกศึกษา
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