In Korea, where webtoons are most popular, the number of creators earning a good living is growing. Yaongyi, the author of True Beauty, for example, recently purchased a luxury car and posted a picture of it on Instagram. So, how much money do Korean webtoon writers make per year on average?
According to a survey conducted by the Korea Creative Content Agency, the average annual income of creators who serialized webtoons throughout the year was 81.2 million won (USD 68,350) in 2021. Furthermore, the average income for creators who published a series within one year was 56.7 million won (USD 47,660).
According to the survey, the most common source of income from webtoon creation was Revenue Share (63.2 percent), followed by Manuscript Fees (60.3 percent). Furthermore, the Minimum Guarantee accounted for 47.7 percent of the income, while income from Overseas Distribution accounted for another 24.4 percent.
Secondary Royalties, such as a recent trend of TV adaptations of webtoons, accounted for 10.3 percent of total earnings.
In comparison to webtoon-only platforms, Korean webtoon creators prefer to serialize on portal platforms. The portal platforms are where the webtoon webpages are integrated into a larger website, which frequently includes a search engine, shopping, and blogging functions. Naver Webtoon is one example of how their parent website, Naver.com, could serve as a marketing platform for the webtoons, potentially attracting more webtoon viewers compare to webtoon-only platforms.
Webtoon creators typically earn more money from portal platforms. The average income for those who serialized webtoons on the portal platform throughout the year was 107 million won (USD 89,960), while creators who serialized on the webtoon-only platform earned 59.5 million won (USD 50,020).
Source: Korea Creative Content Agency 2021 Webtoon Artist Survey Report (Page 35-44)