- Piccoma is the number one South Korean webtoon platform
- Kakao Corp just opened its Piccoma operations in France
- Naver is Piccoma's major competitor in the region
After Webtoon (Naver), the Piccoma platform (a subsidiary of the Korean group Kakao Corp) is the most prominent webtoon application on the market and it happens to be, as of today, available to French readers via Google Play Store for the first time.
What are Webtoons?
Webtoons are full-color comic books first launched in Korea which can be read mainly on smartphones by scrolling the boxes from top to bottom (pretty much how you browse this or any other site). On Webtoon apps, purchases are generally made per chapter, with the first couple of ones usually being free without even registering into the app.
These apps are being regarded to as the Netflix of comics by many specialists, with Korean drama adaptation of popular webtoons becoming a trending genre in South Korean entertainment. Often, many young readers discover these webtoons because of the adaptions that include anime and even live-action series.
With an increased demand for webtoons in France since the pandemic, the country’s leading newspaper Le Parisien selected digital comics as "the leading trend among French youth."
Everybody's eyes were set on Naver to lead the way, but to everyone's surprise, Piccoma became not just the first one to get into the European market. Still, it's repeating the same strategy that quickly made it the number one player in Japan in only a few years, with numbers that shadow even LINE, a famous Japanese platform–they translate their most popular content and bet on local content creators.
But the attractiveness of Piccoma is well deserved; besides having a very easy-to-use interface (something definitely missing on some of the other apps), Piccoma offers not only manhwa (South Korean Manga) to its readers but also Taiwanese and Japanese manga, which since at the moment of the announcement, have also become available in French.
Hyung-Rae Kim, the branch's Europe manager, has announced that they are working on translating the entire Piccoma catalog to the French language, besides accepting submissions by European authors.
At the moment of this article, only a good fifty webtoons series are available to the French audience, particularly from the Pika catalog (manga). Hyung-Rae also stated that the iOS and PC versions should be arriving in the coming months to the French audiences.