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‘New Journey to the West’ paves way for Web entertainment

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Updated : September 09 2015

Media content firm CJ E&M‘s travel-reality show “New Journey to the West” has accumulated 15 million views on Naver TV Cast, an online media platform, since its release on Sept. 4.

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(Naver TV Cast)

Upon reaching 20 million views it will be the first online broadcast to reach the break-even point with only advertising revenues in South Korea.

The show stars former members of KBS variety show “1 Night 2 Days” Lee Seung-gi, Kang Ho-dong, Eun Ji-won and Lee Su-geun, who go on a backpacking trip in China and play various games.

“We are likely to reap the profits earlier-than-expected thanks to a surge in viewers. Online broadcast is emerging as a new cash cow with TV ad revenues declining,” an anonymous executive of CJ E&M was quoted as saying by a local media outlet.

Each episode is just around 10 minutes, much less than traditional hour-long TV airtimes, to appeal to smartphone users watching it during lunch or their commute.

The show hosts are more outspoken on the Internet broadcasts as they are much freer from broadcast regulations.

Singer and actor Lee Seung-gi, known for his squeaky clean image in Korea‘s entertainment scene, is more straightforward online. He freely talks about the members‘ murky past, such as Eun’s divorce and Lee Su-geun‘s gambling past, which can be difficult to discuss on TV.

“We plan to continue to upgrade the format and platform of Web entertainment,” said Lee Myung-hwan, supervisor of the show at CJ E&M.

(khnews@heraldcorp.com)

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