SEOUL, KOREA, January 5 – Kakao Entertainment is gearing up for an exciting global expansion this year, thanks to the soaring success of its Tapas platform in the United States and its extensive collection of more than 10,000 original stories in South Korea that are just waiting for global exposure. Earlier this year, Tapas achieved a major milestone when it reached a daily transaction volume of 200 million won. That’s an impressive 43% growth, year-on-year, and especially noteworthy as the webtoon and web novel market in North America is still nascent.
Behind these remarkable accomplishments lies a well-crafted growth strategy that Kakao Entertainment has successfully executed over the past few years. Since acquiring Tapas in 2021, Kakao Entertainment has made a major move to expand its blockbuster titles in Tapas. To this end, Kakao Entertainment has made a concerted effort to deliver proven titles from Asia to the North American market through top-notch localization efforts.
This strategic move has paid off, with a remarkable 30% growth in Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU) compared to the second half of 2023. The growth is a clear indication that users on the Tapas app are not just passing through but actively engaging and consistently making purchases, demonstrating the creative power of Tapas’ diverse and expansive web literature library coming to the fore.
In a strategic move to drive growth even further, Kakao Entertainment introduced its AI-powered “Helix Push” on Tapas last December. Helix Push is an advanced Customer Relationship Management system that learns user reading habits and app visit patterns, using its knowledge base to recommend diverse titles at the optimal time to boost user retention. Beyond contributing to transaction growth, Helix Push – as an AI curator has ample potential to bring attention to a variety of hidden titles that readers might not otherwise discover. This enriches the reader experience and meaningfully expands revenue streams for creators, giving them yet another incentive to publish on Tapas.
Kakao Entertainment will continue to bring a variety of features from its AI brand Helix to North America, aiming to boost user engagement and foster a dynamic content ecosystem in the North American market.
The overall Kakao community is set to expand this year, with Kakao Entertainment poised to play the lead role. This includes Tapas Entertainment’s continued growth in North America. Currently hosting an impressive 990 Korean webtoons, Tapas has set its sights on adding approximately 1,000 more this year, with an equally ambitious goal of nurturing and expanding its base of local North American titles. Since last year, Kakao Entertainment has made bold strides into the North American literature market by unveiling web novels on Tapas and fortifying its web novel pipeline. Kakao Entertainment will continue to push in this direction to foster growth in the region, adding vibrant local partnerships and through other marketing efforts in North America.