East Asian Perspective in Transmedia Storytelling | Do Webtoon-Based TV Dramas Represent Transmedia Storytelling? Industrial Factors Leading to Webtoon-Based TV Dramas

Ji Hoon Park, Jeehyun Lee, Yongsuk Lee


With the rise of mobile media and snack culture, the webtoon has become a leading form of popular culture in Korea. Korea is also producing a growing number of webtoon-based TV dramas. If the proliferation of the mobile phone and the migration of traditional cartoonists to the mobile platform contribute to the emergence of the webtoon as a source for creative stories, it is the industrial factors and considerations that promote the practice of webtoon-based drama production. The following industrial factors lead to webtoon-based TV drama production: the success of earlier webtoon-based dramas (e.g., Misaeng and Cheese in the Trap), the limited pool of top drama scriptwriters, the use of the webtoon as a cost-saving option (as opposed to hiring a top scriptwriter), the strategy of reducing the risk of hiring a mediocre scriptwriter, the use of the webtoon as a deal point when production companies pitch a show, and the effectiveness of promoting TV dramas on the basis of a webtoon’s existing reputation.


webtoon, webtoon-based drama, transmedia, cross-media adaptation, OSMU

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