June 16, 2023
SEOUL – The fourth annual World Cultural Industry Forum kicked off Wednesday in Daegu. This year’s WCIF focuses on the creator economy and sustainability.
On the first day of the two-day event, the ASEAN-Korea Center co-organized the WCIF’s special talk session, “Creative Economy with ASEAN Young People,” on the sidelines of the event where it invited creators from Southeast Asia to hear their visions for creating culture that brings people around the world together.
“As K-culture spreads worldwide, the role of the ASEAN region is growing exponentially. Through this special ASEAN-Korea session, I hope that both regions can quickly respond to the changing industry trends and create more opportunities for mutual exchange and cooperation in the music and entertainment industry,” said ASEAN-Korea Center Secretary-General Kim Hae-yong.
Participating in the session were Raffi Ahmad and Nagita Slavina from Indonesia, Meichan from Vietnam, Benjamin Kheng from Singapore and Kring Kim from the Philippines. Nichkhun of K-pop group 2PM moderated the session. Senior journalist Suh Byung-kee from Herald Business also participated in the talk.
Sharing their own experiences and viewpoints on the burgeoning K-content industry, the creators discussed measures that can create synergy among member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations regarding Korean content.
“As someone who has been a fan of Korean content for 20 years, there are many great creators all over the world, but Korea just sets a different standard and elevates the trends. They offer something fresh in terms of aesthetics, execution, marketing and even the integration of technology,” Kring Kim, who has over 266,000 subscribers on YouTube, told The Korea Herald.
In the entertainment industry for over 15 years as a producer, director and content creator, Kim said she has seen opportunities in Korea as the country is very open to supporting creators from other regions, especially when it comes to the promotion of tourism and Hallyu.
“K-pop is a whole world unto its own, and has such breadth of storytelling that surrounds not just the music — the aesthetic, style, fandom culture and conversation make it much more enticing for regular consumers,” Benjamin Kheng, a former national youth swimmer in Singapore who is now a musician and actor with over 272,000 followers on Instagram, told The Korea Herald.
Creators also pointed to evolving audience feedback and growing interest in K-content over time.
Meichan, a Vietnamese creator who has also appeared on various Korean TV commercials and programs, said she has been receiving new responses from her audience compared to the early stages of her career. She has 605,000 subscribers on YouTube.
“These days, I share more content about the lessons I’ve learned from my years living in Korea, the challenges I’ve encountered and how I’ve grown as a young person who has experienced youth in a foreign country. And now I’ve had more feedback on how viewers were able to see fresh viewpoints and think about how much experiences may help people grow,” she told The Korea Herald.
Creating content “brings me huge joy and gives me even more drive to continue on this path as a creative,” she added.
Regarding the next big thing expected to come from Korea, the creators said it really has to do with the technology.
“I think it is time for AI-based content. With the advancements in technology, virtual reality and augmented reality experiences are becoming more accessible. The Korean entertainment industry has the leverage to utilize these technologies to create immersive and interactive content, enhancing the viewer’s engagement and entertainment experience,” said Raffi Ahmad and Nagita Slavina from Indonesia, a creator couple with 25 million subscribers on YouTube.
Having renewed itself in 2019 as a forum dedicated to the music and entertainment industries after it was founded in 2002, WCIF seeks to create a “cultural universe” — a world united by culture with a special focus on the music and entertainment industries — and offer a platform for producers, experts and entrepreneurs to discuss industry development and global prosperity.
This year’s WCIF aims to contribute to establishing networks of creators, producers and distributors and to support creating new business models related to the convergence of future technologies.