WEBTOON Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2023
The world’s largest digital comics platform ranks in the Top 10 of the 2023 World’s Most Innovative Companies, and No. 1 in the Media category
The company joins the ranks of OpenAI, Disney, Tiffany & Co., and more
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WEBTOON, the world’s largest digital comics platform, has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2023. A pioneer in webcomics, with growing global influence in entertainment, publishing, and IP, WEBTOON was ranked No. 1 in the Media category, and in the Top 10 of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.
This year’s list highlights the businesses at the forefront of their respective industries, paving the way for the innovations of tomorrow. These companies are setting the standard with some of the greatest accomplishments of the modern world. In addition to the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, 540 organizations are recognized across 54 sectors and regions.
“WEBTOON was founded to make it easier to create and read comics on mobile devices,” said Junkoo Kim, WEBTOON Founder and Global CEO. “As a lifelong comics fan, I’m thrilled to see that vision inspire a new generation of creators, bring more fans to comics, and receive this incredible recognition. This achievement isn’t just about WEBTOON, it’s a recognition of our global creator community and their creativity. Their stories and artistic innovations have transformed comics and entertainment for a new generation, and I want to congratulate every WEBTOON creator as part of this news.”
“Our storytelling technology platform has inspired diverse comic creators and fans around the world,” said Ken Kim, CEO, WEBTOON Americas. “Comics have never been more popular and we’re incredibly proud to be part of the medium’s evolution. With our IP & Creator ecosystem, our massive global audience, and accessible platform, we’re incredibly proud to bring comics to the mainstream on our platform, and to screens and bookshelves everywhere.”
WEBTOON pioneered the mobile vertical scroll format for webcomics, revolutionizing the comics industry by making it easy for creators to publish and share their stories with global audiences. The result is a billion-dollar business innovation and an unmatched IP & Creator ecosystem, with capabilities in TV, film, print publishing from Wattpad WEBTOON Studios, serialized fiction with YONDER, webnovels from Wattpad, gaming from Studio Lico, and more.
Digital comics from WEBTOON have been the source of a growing number of hit TV and film projects. Netflix sensation “All of Us are Dead,” started as a digital comic on WEBTOON before the adaptation became one of the Top 5 all-time non-English series on the streamer globally. Other hit WEBTOON adaptations include “Hellbound,” “The Sound of Magic,” “Sweet Home,” and “Lookism” on Netflix; Crunchyroll hits “Tower of God,” “The God of High School,” and “Noblesse”; and “Connect” and “Kiss Sixth Sense” on Disney+. Today, around 300 adaptations from WEBTOON’s digital comic and webnovel brands are in development around the world.
WEBTOON content has also seen enormous success in traditional publishing. Rachel Smythe’s webcomic sensation “Lore Olympus” was published by Penguin Random House with the first three volumes hitting #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. The company’s graphic novel imprint, WEBTOON Unscrolled launched in 2021, bringing global hits “Tower of God,” “True Beauty,” and other fan-favorite titles to bookshelves everywhere.
WEBTOON’s creator-friendly business model has resulted in an innovative new creator economy for comic artists in the US and around the world. Between 2020 and 2021, WEBTOON paid out more than USD $27M–or more than USD $1M each month–to English language creators. In Korea, where the company’s creator model is at its most mature, top creators can earn an average of $250k per year.
WEBTOON partners with some of the biggest brands in entertainment to extend their IP and reach the massive Gen Z audience on the platform. The company has partnered and developed content collaborations with companies like DC, Marvel, McDonald’s, Archie, HYBE–for the record-breaking BTS-inspired 7FATES: CHAKHO webcomic series– and many others.
Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the companies making the biggest strides around the globe. They also judged nominations received through their application process.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides a firsthand look at the inspiring and innovative efforts of companies across all sectors of the economy.
“What a strange and thrilling year it has been to honor this year’s Most Innovative Companies. This year’s list compiles some of the most cutting-edge groundbreakers who are changing our world every single day, from legacy organizations like McDonald’s to upstarts like MrBeast and institutions such as NASA. Everyone on this list does something completely, uniquely different, yet, they all have one thing in common: innovation,” said Fast Company editor-in-chief Brendan Vaughan.
Fast Company will host its third annual Most Innovative Companies Summit on April 19 and 20. The virtual summit celebrates the Most Innovative Companies in business, and provides an inside look at cutting-edge business trends and what it takes to innovate in 2023. Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2023) is available online here, as well as in-app form via iTunes, and on newsstands beginning March 14. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.
WEBTOON is the world’s largest digital comics platform, home to some of the biggest artists, IP, and fandoms in comics. As the global leader and pioneer of the mobile webcomic format, WEBTOON has revolutionized the comics industry for comic fans and creators. Today, a diverse new generation of international comic artists have found a home on WEBTOON, where the company’s storytelling technology allows anyone to become a creator and build a global audience for their stories.
With a massive catalog of incredible digital comics from rising stars on WEBTOON CANVAS platform, and a growing roster of superstar WEBTOON Originals creators, there’s something for every type of comic fan on WEBTOON. With 85.6 million monthly active users, and WEBTOON adaptations on Netflix, HBO Max, and other screens around the world, WEBTOON’s passionate fandoms are the new face of pop culture. The company has worked with DC Comics, Marvel Entertainment, HYBE, and many more of the world’s biggest entertainment brands.
The WEBTOON app is free to download on Android and iOS devices.
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