By Rachael Green, Benzinga
A Korean wave has been sweeping the globe for over a decade as first K-pop, then K-drama and now all kinds of Korean entertainment and media continue to draw an increasingly international audience. Today, a single K-pop group, BTS, is responsible for generating over $4.6 billion of South Koreas GDP. When you add in the rest of the K-pop groups along with the increasingly popular K-dramas, movies and other media, South Koreas entertainment industry has become a multibillion-dollar global phenomenon.
Thats caught the attention of investors looking for ways to gain exposure to this growing global market. For Hanryu Holdings (NASDAQ: HRYU), thats helped bring in $53 million in capital so far, including nearly $9 million raised during its initial public offering earlier this month. The media-tech company is the creator of FANTOO, an all-in-one social media platform specifically created to give K-cultures estimated 156 million global fans a place to connect with each other and buy merchandise, content, concert tickets and more. Heres how Hanryu is leveraging the economic power of fandom to generate shareholder value.
One Fandom App, Multiple Revenue Streams
Hanryu reports that since it first launched FANTOO two years ago, the fandom app has grown to 26 million registered users, including 1.5 million active monthly users. Right now, its biggest source of revenue is advertising. The app is an attractive opportunity for brands who want access to this highly engaged audience, and investors interested in the Asian market may want to look deeper.
Advertising is far from the apps only revenue stream. The content creation side that allows users to create and monetize fan art, comics, fan fiction and other content also adds revenue from transaction fees on sales as does the fan shop where users can buy and sell merchandise on an eBay-style platform.
FANTOO also generates money on ticket sales as users unable to attend a concert in-person can pay for a virtual ticket to watch a live stream of the show with fellow fans in the app.
Unlike other fandom apps that cater only to a specific fandom, FANTOO is designed to be all-encompassing, creating a space for fans of all forms of K-culture to create clubs, talk to other fans and share their passion.
Meanwhile, the apps reward system lets users earn points for creating content, liking posts, commenting and engaging in other user activity. The unique system helps maintain a consistently high level of engagement from its users, making it an even more attractive advertising opportunity and creating more opportunities to generate cash flow across the apps other revenue streams.
As the app continues to gain users, Hanryu already has big plans to increase its revenue potential, including widening its net to include even more fandoms and launching a metaverse version of FANTOO where users can meet and explore the platform in virtual reality.
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