Taking place online this year, Korea's annual international content market brings together buyers, sellers, financiers, and animation lovers from all over the globe.
For over 20 years, SPP – or the Seoul Promotion Plan, which is hosted by the Seoul Business Agency (SBA) – has been an indispensable event for content creators looking to sell their IP and buyers interested in purchasing content or promoting cooperative business ventures. Begun in 2001 as a competition for new works, SPP has developed into a multifaceted market that includes not only a competitive event where animation producers can introduce their works, but investment promotion opportunities, a market trend conference, individual meetings between buyers and sellers, and social events.
More recently, SPP has established a webtoon category to bring in more buyers from China, the major overseas market for domestic webtoons; a corporate-led content IR program; and Global Ignite, a forum in which high-level content companies present their offerings and promote opportunities for business development with attending buyers and production companies.
In 2019, SPP established the Asia Animation Alliance, a consultative body to promote Asian animation businesses and build cooperation among companies for mutual benefit. This year’s market will include showcases of new animations from Korea, China, Japan, India, and ASEAN countries, as well as briefing sessions in which representatives from Korea, China, Japan, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines will talk about the current state and future prospects of their respective animation industries.
Now underway, this year’s SPP takes place online, launching July 12 and running through July 30. While attendees will no doubt miss the opportunity to meet and greet colleagues in person, the upside of virtuality is that participants can engage in one-on-one video conferences with key business figures from more than 30 countries without having to travel to Seoul. Moreover, this year’s market will introduce “SPP connect,” a new business matching platform with improved user functions, including recommended AI-based and video-conferencing solutions, as well as advanced scheduling and online screening options.
“The newly established SPP Connect will become an online platform that can play a key role in exporting domestic content amid the prolonged COVID-9 pandemic,” Park Bo-kyung, head of SBA Seoul Animation Center, said. “In SPP 2021, we plan to provide supports for domestic companies to create substantial business results by providing various opportunities to leading overseas buyers to pitch their projects.”
Business Matching (Biz Matching)
Central to SPP’s ongoing success is its one-on-one business matching sessions, which put creators and buyers together to facilitate business collaboration and investment. From 50 matches among three countries in 2004, last year’s SPP saw 4,092 biz-matching cases among 619 companies from 34 countries. Programming and development executives from the world’s major kids’ networks, along with representatives from numerous key distribution companies, will again be available to meet with creators and IP sellers to negotiate deals and make dreams come true.
Among the more than 350 buyers and 350 sellers participating in this year’s SPP are:
Design Egg (“Pat a Pat Como”), Toytron Ltd. (“Baby Seal Harp”), Happyup Co. Ltd. (“Comi and Bebe”), Soul Creative Co. Ltd. (“Why Did You Come to the Goblin Hill?”), Anyzac Co. Ltd. (“iN:APP”), RetroBot (“PotenDogs”)
M-Konnect (Catty Cat), Sweetmonster, Dianos Entertainment (Masso), J Bugs Co. Ltd. (Raon), Paper Mamari (Happy Almond Puppy)
Daewon C.I., Kenaz, D&C Webtoon Biz, C&C Revolution Inc., Mstoryhub Co. Ltd.
Vertigo Games Inc. (“BlackShot M”), Studio Lumiere (“Devil’s Proposal”), Cellbig Co. Ltd. (“Fanta Play”), Libra Systems Co. Ltd. (“CATRIX: Clash of Cats”), Nurhyme Games Inc. (“Blocktopia”), Visual Light Co. Inc. (“Throw Anything”)
Ideas and Insights Catch Fire at Global Ignite
Among the highlights of SPP, Global Ignite is a corporate-led promotional event that explores the latest developments and future visions in the areas of production, marketing, technology, and investment. Featuring CEOs and other principals of high-level content companies, Global Ignite offers a close-up look at some of the key concerns and tantalizing possibilities in the animation, webtoon, and games marketplace. There are seven sessions scheduled for SPP 2021:
“Expanding Platforms and the Future of the Boutique Studio”
- Lee Jin-woo, CEO, Director / Studio Pivote
- Lee Jong-hoon, Co-CEO, Director / VCR Works
- Hong Joon-pyo, CEO / Studio Roomer
- Han Ji-won, Director / Workroom Yaha
- Moderator: Song Kyung-won / CINE21
Briefing Session on Animation <in-app> Business
- Anyzac Co. Ltd.
“A Study on the Determination of Character Value in the Metaverse Age: Character vs. Virtual Human”
- Oh Je-wook, CEO / dob Studio
“Nurturing the Content Unicorn IP Through Animation”
- Lee Song, CEO / SmartStudy
“Animation Policies and Deciphering the Funding Status between Canada and Korea Co-Productions”
- Camille Gueymard, Deputy Director, Co-productions & Business Affairs / Telefilm Canada
“How to Successfully Market Overseas When We Can’t Meet in Person with a Director of Overseas Marketing”
- Raphaelle Mathieu, SVP Sales, Acquisitions & New Media / Cyber Group Studios
- Moderator: Harry Yoon, Vice President / Studio Moggozi
Interview with Carl Reed, Director of Lion Forge Animation
- Moderator: Harry Yoon, Vice President / Studio Moggozi
For more information on SPP, visit the conference website.