LOS ANGELES & SEOUL, South Korea--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Contents First, the creator of Tappytoon and a global digital comics industry leader specializing in IP development, production, distribution, and transmedia, today announced its groundbreaking partnership with Penguin Random House’s new global pop-comics imprint, Inklore. In an unprecedented move that converges Korean digital comics and traditional publishing, the Inklore-Contents First partnership paves the way for a selection of Contents First webtoons to be published by Inklore as physical books for U.S. and global readers.
The first title, Cherry Blossoms After Winter by Bamwoo, will be released in spring 2024. It is a Boy’s Love (BL) title depicting the bond between two boyhood friends who grow into lovers. More titles are forthcoming. In a move that redefines both industries, Inklore’s goal to bring the voices of international creators and storytellers to an eager global audience aligns with Contents First’s dedication to rich and innovative storytelling, which unlocks vast transmedia opportunities for the company and ensures that both new and existing fans can enjoy and experience these tales across every format.
“Through Tappytoon’s thousands of stories in a wide range of genres, Contents First has served digital comics to millions of Gen Z and Millennial fans around the world,” said Ernest Woo, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Contents First. “As our first title for the Inklore imprint is BL and romance, we look forward to introducing more great titles and genres that Tappytoon readers love.”
“The team at Inklore is very excited to publish Cherry Blossoms After Winter in print for the English-speaking world for the first time,” said Rebecca “Tay” Taylor, editorial director at Inklore. “As fans ourselves, we know that this publication is a highly-anticipated event for many readers.”
Romance in a New Content Era
While romance novels have long been popular in America, the genre has been traditionally underrepresented in comics, leaning towards action and superheroes. Vertical-scroll style webtoons, especially those of the romance genre, are rapidly becoming the preferred way to access such stories for a new generation of digital-native readers.
Nearly half of Tappytoon’s library is devoted to romance, mirroring its share in total sales. Tappytoon has more than 400 romance titles, with new ones added each month.
The global webtoon market, projected to reach $6 billion by 2032, with a remarkable CAGR of 21%, coupled with a projected $22 billion webtoon transmedia market, with a 24% CAGR, underscores the vast potential of this entertainment and publishing sector. Amidst this flourishing landscape, Contents First’s webtoon and web novel platform Tappytoon is an emerging leader with more than eight million users spanning 240 nations and showcasing a stellar 180% annual sales growth since its founding in 2016.
Contents First is shaping the webtoon industry by diversifying its premium content offerings and expanding into film, OTT, online games, books, and merchandise. Their ongoing collaborations with industry-leading companies like Naver Webtoon, CJ ENM, Redice Studios, and now Penguin Random House promise unprecedented avenues for growth in the US and globally.
About Contents First
Contents First, founded in 2013 and headquartered in Seoul, is a global digital comics industry leader. With its flagship content platform, Tappytoon, the company offers an extensive collection of Korean webtoon and web novel titles, reaching 8 million users across 240 nations in English, German, and French. Contents First has transformed how stories are consumed and experienced through its robust IP and comics production chain, collaborations with top-notch artists and partners, and expanding its premium content libraries beyond popular smartphone apps into mediums such as film, OTT, online games, books, merchandise, and more. For more information, visit us at www.contentsfirst.com.