They include YG Entertainment, which manages many of Korea’s biggest stars like Big Bang, 2NE1, PSY, Epik High, Choi Ji Woo, Black Pink and Lee Jong Suk, its subsidiary YGKplus, the country’s leading modelling agency, and Naver.com, the country’s biggest search engine and online media and entertainment channel.
The RoK companies are seeking to tie up with Multimedia JSC in entertainment and fashion.
They will send their stars to participate in major entertainment events in Vietnam like the Vietnam International Fashion Week and also create opportunities for Vietnamese models in the RoK.
Besides YG Entertainment and Naver.com, many other RoK companies in movies, the media and entertainment also have plans to enter the Vietnamese entertainment market.
The Vietnam Film Distribution Association said the market was dominated by foreign distributors, many of them are RoK companies.
Vietnam now has more than 50 cinema chains. The RoK-owned CJ CGV Vietnam is the largest in the market with 30 cinemas in 10 major cities. Lotte Cinema, also owned by the RoK, has 16 cinemas.
A CJ CGV executive said each year the company opened around 10 cinemas in Vietnam and expected to reach 60 by next year.
Market observers said RoK investors saw plenty of opportunities in the Vietnamese entertainment industry.
They find that the Vietnamese entertainment market is still in a fledgling state while the demand for entertainment has skyrocketed in step with living standards, meaning the sky could be the limit for investors.
The fact that Vietnam and the RoK have many cultural similarities means RoK entertainment investors with their quality products can attract Vietnamese audiences easily.
On the commercial side of things, there are several trade agreements Vietnam has signed which offer opportunities to foreign investors, including those in the entertainment industry.
Analysts said all this imposed pressure on domestic entertainment companies, who could lose the market completely to the RoK firms if they were slow to react.
In 2005 CJ CGV and Vietnamese company VIFA established a joint venture called CJ-VIFA whose first project was the drama “Mui Ngo gai”.
Then CJ CGV bought out Megastar, the largest chain of cinemas in Vietnam at that time. At the beginning of 2014, after closing the acquisition, Megastar was renamed CGV.
CGV now accounts for over a half the Vietnamese cinema market.
It also dominates the film import market, and by showing more movies than its rivals, including blockbusters, CGV has become popular among the public.
CJ CGV’s strategy is a vital lesson for local entertainment companies.