SEOUL -- Buoyed by the phenomenal success of "Baby Shark," a catchy cartoon song for toddlers, South Korean educational entertainment company, SmartStudy, unveiled a blueprint to expand its business scope beyond child education to family entertainment with webtoon, web novel, and sports brands targeting global markets.
"We are starting a new chapter as the global entertainment company under a new name, 'The Pinkfong Company,'" SmartStudy wrote in a message uploaded on its refurbished website. The new mission is to create a culture for the whole family to enjoy and evolve into a family entertainment company beyond child education.
Pinkfong is the children's educational brand of SmartStudy. Pinkfong's educational channel has the brightly-colored programming of stories, sing-along songs and dances represented by a pink fox named "Pinkfong." The company has thousands of children's videos, songs, games and apps.
"Baby Shark," a cartoon song created by Pinkfong, depicts a story about a family of great white sharks with colorful visuals and a catchy melody. The original version, uploaded in late 2015, made a phenomenal hit worldwide and has tens of versions in many languages. The "Baby Shark Dance" video uploaded in 2016 is now one of the most-watched on YouTube.
"While writing an unprecedented history in the content industry, we have expanded our business beyond education to YouTube, movies and animations, music, performances, and games," said CEO Kim Min-seok. "With a new company name, we will develop new webtoons, web novels, and sports businesses, and evolve into a global family entertainment company through next-generation IPs and new overseas bases."
The company will release webtoons and web novels targeting teenagers and young people within this year. It has established a joint venture called "Moon Shark" with content producer Mstory Hub to release a high-teen romance genre with K-pop, electronic dance music, and fantasy elements.
Family sports brands will be launched. Kim's company has established a joint venture with Son Yeon-jae, a retired individual rhythmic gymnast, to introduce a gymnastics curriculum for the entire family and home training videos. Kim aims to unveil a 3D content series featuring human characters and 2D dinosaur animations, while flagship intellectual properties including Baby Shark will be produced as secondary content.
After Los Angeles, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Kim's company will establish its fourth overseas subsidiary in Singapore to expand its global business.
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