RIDI is a comprehensive content platform, offering e-books, webtoons, web novels and animation based on its rich intellectual property portfolio. The company boasts over 230,000 types of content materials from over 111,000 creators. RIDI is credited with having pioneered the e-book scene in South Korea. Following its success as an e-book giant, the company has continued to branch out its content IP business by acquiring content companies and launching a global webtoon service, Manta. In August 2021, Manta topped over 2 million downloads just 8 months after its release and became the No. 1 comics app on Google Play Store. So far, the company has raised over 70 billion won.
Published: Sep 28, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)
Last updated: Oct 01, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)
Korea's Kindle evolves into a content IP provider
Encompassing e-books, web novels, webtoons and more
Until 2017, RIDI Corp. was often referred to as Korea’s Kindle. Founded in 2008, the company pioneered the country’s e-book market, holding the No. 1 position even as competitors entered the segment. In 2018, after enjoying a decade of great success as an e-book platform, RIDI introduced a new service on its platform – web novels.
RIDI created original web novels in collaboration with authors who had already worked with the company. Instead of releasing the original content as complete e-books, RIDI opted for an episode format: a new episode would be uploaded every week. The company also adopted a mobile-exclusive format and structured web novel plots that moved at a faster pace, which were a huge hit. In the first half of 2018, RIDI’s numbers of new subscribers jumped by 195% compared to the year-earlier period.
Industry watchers were floored by RIDI’s transformation. But it was the expected course of events for Bae Ki-sik, the founder and chief executive of RIDI. From the very beginning, Bae had envisioned building a global content company backed by a rich intellectual property portfolio of content, rather than an e-book company.
And web novels only marked the beginning of Bae’s plan to expand the IP business. In 2020, while kicking off its global expansion plans, RIDI also forayed into the webtoon market.
“This is only the beginning of RIDI’s growth story,” said Bae.
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By Min-ki Koo; Edited by Danbee Lee