SLL announced that they changed direction from the work’s quality to securing more popularity.
On July 4th, Studio Lululala (SLL) held a press conference at the Korea Press Center in Gwanghwamun, Jung-gu, Seoul to summarize performances in the first half of 2023. SLL production manager Park Joon Seo, Production Division 1 director Park Sung Eun, and Production Division 2 director Kim Gun Hong attended the event.
SLL dramas performed sluggishly throughout the first half of last year then gradually recovered after the success of “Reborn Rich” at the end of the year. Manager Park said, “Through the drama selection process, we encountered results that make popularity and entertainment less important. In particular, we are trying to strengthen the performance of Saturday and Sunday dramas.”
“During the broadcast of ‘Doctor Cha’, there were reactions like, ‘Isn’t it too much like a weekend drama?’, but I thought, “Is it bad to make a weekend drama?’, ‘Does being a weekend drama reduce the quality of the work?’, etc. I believed that creating a family drama in our own style was also an important element. Changing our direction from solely pursuing the work’s quality to directing at popularity seems to have brought about good results”, he said.
Director Kim Gun Hong added, “Collaboration between the director and producer is very important”. Director Park shared, “Even if you gather the best director, writer, and actors, the work can still fail, and on the contrary, there are cases in which works starring only rookies gain huge success”.
Regarding their effort to create “killer content”, director Park said, “Korean dramas have been produced by broadcasting stations for the past 30 years, but now it seems like the market has changed and mixed with the past market. In the past, if the viewership ratings were good, most of the problems were resolved. However, nowadays, a drama that surpasses 20% in viewership ratings can still result in losses of billions of won. We need to consider our perspective when reviewing ‘killer content’. Problems can arise if dramas are produced solely based on past production departments. Due to changes in the market structure, such as the emergence of OTT platforms, studios can suffer significant losses. We need to consider the business aspect much more than before.”
SLL is a studio under the Central Group responsible for content production, including drama production, entertainment management, and music distribution. It was established in 2011 and went through several name changes, starting with “J Content Hub”, which handled the distribution of JTBC content. Later, it merged with “Drama House” to become “Drama House & J Content Hub” then eventually decided to take the name “SLL” in April of last year.
Over the past 10 years, SLL has experienced rapid growth, achieving annual sales of over 550 billion won and operating profit of over 15 billion won. It has become a leading content production company in the domestic market. In April 2017, SLL signed a grand contract with Netflix for the rights to release global content simultaneously, becoming the first Korean company to do so. Since then, JTBC dramas have been simultaneously premiered as Netflix originals. In July, SLL launched the cross-media organization Studio LuluLala and continued to create popular content, such as “Workman,” “Wassup Man”, and “Season B Season”.
SLL has signed various contracts with OTT platforms, such as Dramafever in the US, viu in Southeast Asia, viki in the US, etc. They also invested large amounts in iflix, House Pictures, nPio, Perfect Storm Film, BA Entertainment, etc. and expanded them. It acquired three more content producers, such as Climax Studio, Production H, and Content Zium, in June 2021 and the Hollywood content production agency wiip in July.
Aiming to become the No.1 K-content producer in the global market, SLL also announced that they would invest 3 trillion won in content production over three years and achieve 2 trillion won in sales in 2024. SLL performed well last year with the hit drama “Reborn Rich” recording the highest rating of 30.1%, ranking second in the history of non-terrestrial dramas behind “SKY Castle”. Later, “Doctor Cha” (19.4%) and “The Good Bad Mother” (12.6%) also contributed to raising the status of K-content. The ongoing drama “King the Land” also ranked 2nd on Netlfix’s non-English speaking TV category by reaching 12.6% after airing six episodes.
SLL plans to release more than 15 contents in the second half of 2023. In particular, “Destined With You”, “Strong Woman Gang Nam Soon”, “Behind Your Touch”, “Sing Again 3” and “Biography of a Villain” are scheduled to premiere on the TV platform. On the OTT platform, viewers will be able to watch the film “Ballerina”, “D.P. Season 2”, “Daily Dose of Sunshine”, “Crime Scene Returns”, “Death’s Game”, etc. In the film category, “Concrete Utopia”, “Coweb”, “Road to Boston”, “Hijacking”, etc. are on the lineup.