South Korea's exports of cultural content increased 8.4 percent in 2018 from the previous year to US$9.55 billion, a government report showed Monday.
Last year's growth came after annual average growth of 16 percent between 2014 and 2017, with exports of $5.27 billion in 2014, $5.66 billion in 2015, $6.08 billion in 2016 and $8.81 billion in 2017, according to the report on trends in the content industry released by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency.By sector, video games accounted for $6.39 billion, or 66.9 percent, of all cultural content exports last year, followed by trade characters ($733 million), knowledge information ($644 million) and music ($564 million), the report said.
In terms of export growth rate, animation posted 19.5 percent, followed by cartoons (14.4 percent), publications (12.7 percent), trade characters (10.5 percent), broadcasting (10.3 percent) and music (10.1 percent), it said.
Video game exports surged by over 80 percent in 2017 but the growth rate tumbled to 7.9 percent last year.
The report said domestic content industry sales were up 5.2 percent last year to 119.11 trillion won. Excluding animation, which suffered a 1.9 percent sales reduction, all other sectors registered sales growth, with 11.9 percent in music, 9.7 percent in knowledge information, 7 percent in cartoons, 6.3 percent in broadcasting and 6 percent in video games.
By sector, annual sales reached 21.05 trillion won for publication, 19.18 trillion won for broadcasting, 17.22 trillion won for advertising, 16.5 trillion won for knowledge information and 13.93 trillion won for video games, the report said.
The number of employees in the nation's content industry increased 1.4 percent to reach 653,615 people last year, the report said, which surveyed 2,413 cultural content companies and analyzed 118 kinds of data released by 118 listed content companies.