Naver Webtoons: Redrawing the Comics Industry through a Platform Business Model

Naver Webtoons: Redrawing the Comics Industry through a Platform Business Model
Case Code: BSTR669
Case Length: 16 Pages
Period: -
Pub Date: 2024
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization : Naver Webtoon Corp
Industry : Leisure & Entertainment
Countries : South Korea
Themes: Platform Model, Platform Ecosystem, Platform Strategy,Business Models
Naver Webtoons: Redrawing the Comics Industry through a Platform Business Model
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case “Naver Webtoons: Redrawing the Comics Industry through a Platform Business Model” discusses the way South-Korea based Naver Webtoon Corp. (NW) – a subsidiary of South Korean Internet conglomerate Naver Corporation (Naver) – went about creating a platform business model in the two-century-old comics industry. The case starts out with the factors that drove NW to build a platform to showcase the webtoon comic format. It then documents the various ways in which JunKoo Kim (Kim), CEO of NW, attracted creators and users to NW’s webtoon platform and created a webtoon ecosystem. The case provides details of how NW encouraged webtoon creators and ensured a productive platform.

The case documents the success of NW’s webtoon platform and gives an insight into the ways in which NW monetized it to build a multi-billion dollar business. Furthermore, NW actively pursued opportunities to capitalize on the webtoon’s Intellectual Properties (IPs) and got them adapted into movies, TV shows and games. In addition, NW expanded its webtoon platform globally, overcoming language and cultural barriers, ultimately emerging as the largest webtoon platform in the world. Considering the intense competition among various entertainment formats, can Kim ensure that NW’s webtoon platform continues to keep up user’s attention in the future?


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand platform businesses and the way they can transform traditional industries.
  • Examine the key aspects of a platform ecosystem.
  • Assess the impact of network effects on the growth of a platform.
  • Analyze the various ways to monetize a platform.
  • Develop strategies to overcome the challenges faced by platform businesses.



Platform model; Platform Ecosystem; Innovation; Webtoons; Comics Industry; Competitive Advantage; Content Creation; Intellectual Property Rights; Network Effects; Revenue Models; Monetization; International Market Entry; Porter Diamond Model; Leadership; Blue Ocean Strategy,Naver; Webtoon; Manga; Page Profit Share; Revenue Diversification; Talent Search; The Challenge League; Media & Entertainment; Freemium; Best Challenge League

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