Media contents market is growing bigger and bigger nowadays that the development of memedia is being generalized through our society, such as BJ of Afreeca TV, or the MCNs (Multi Channel Network). They are whom creating their own contents including singing, playing the game, putting a makeup and then put in on youtube or other platforms in order to share them with others. However, there is a person who is going even further than this, by making not only create the contents but also securing the platform. He gathered about 70~80 contents creators, made company, and now making its own platform ‘Zombie King’. Boys who are interested in games or new-media might have heard it more than once, and surprisingly the CEO of this company is from Chung-Ang University. The more interesting point is than he is on second grade of the department of Business Management. How did he success even though he’s still very young? How did he stepped onto global markets of media and do collaborations with famous brands? Who is this awesome man? CAH visited his studio in Dangsandong and tried solve the curiosities.
CAH: Can you introduce about Channel Zombie King for people who don’t know?
YANG: Well, Channel Zombie King is the space where various creators distribute freelance work and upload the contents together. We provide a kind of content platform for advertisers and we take fees by connecting many businesses and freelancers. Moreover, we are somewhat different from other MCNs, since MCNs (Multi Channel Networks) are originated from YouTube. However, we are not like MCNs being only tied into YouTube. Every person who creates content can be clustered here, and not just work but sell it to traders.
CAH: What is your future plan with Channel Zombie King?
YANG: First, we’re going to release games and export to foreign countries and continue making content. I think this business might be bigger since the content industry is continuously growing. Moreover, we will make our own community and SNS where the creators who are interested can join, so every kind of content can be commercialized. For instance, “Stream,” a platform in the US, takes part in 80% of games in the world. Like this, we will secure many creators and give them priorities and when the deals start, we will get 10% of fees in the free market.
CAH: We’ve heard that you have been earning money since you were 15. How did you get started, and how did it influence you after?
YANG: I got 20,000 won from my parents when I was in middle school, and it was absurdly insufficient at that time. Therefore, I started to find some work utilizing Photoshop skills such as designing game logos, marks and so on and opened Naver Cafe “Zombie King’s Image Studio.” At the age of 15, I stopped for a moment since there were many competitors. After that, I tried to make comics with game screen shots for fun, and ironically I was selected as the best storyteller. I’d beaten others overwhelmingly and got a tablet PC and a gift voucher. Right then, I realized that it might be wonderful if I continued making screenshot comics, so I changed my café’s theme to games. After I secured about 2000~3000 people, I wanted to gather more and more people so that I changed my café into a game genre again, but it didn’t work well though. At last, I tried to make satellite cafes and widened my network.
CAH: You’ve used crowdfunding to earn your business capital. Could you explain more about your marketing theory?
YANG: Crowdfunding is the practice of funding by raising monetary contributions from many people. After putting up a demo of a game that our company was developing on the website called Tumblbug, we gathered countless investors. Also, to promote our corporation, I first tried extremely hard to gain a chance to participate in the DIA TV Program Exhibition happening at COEX. Originally, renowned enterprises are given the exhibition booths, but we ultimately earned a small space for our team. We programed a fan signing event and goods promotions and attracted hundreds of people. Starting off with this event, we gained CJ and DIA TV companies’ trust and this has led to various offline events of our own.
CAH: How did CAU help your present career?
YANG: I’m thankful to CAU for minimizing restrictions on applying for a leave of absence. This allowed me to fully focus on the business. During the lecture courses, I was really lucky to attend Professor Park Chan-Hee’s lectures. He was the one and only professor that I sincerely thought broadened my perspectives and strengthened my conceptive thoughts.
CAH: CAU has been actively participating to support students preparing a Start-Up Business through LINC (Leaders in Industry-university Cooperation). What do you think about these projects?
YANG: I’ve actually seen through online news that CAU is proceeding to support students’ start-up businesses. Although these programs are led under positive intentions, I personally have dissatisfactions. Many students preparing a start-up aim either to set up a business to ultimately sell to the conglomerates or do not put huge efforts to develop their businesses in the long term. I blame this unfortunate reality on a lack of hunger for success. No matter how you slice it, assistance to business starters is outside source money that does affect the founder’s profit. Hence, it takes away the passion and lowers the success rate of start-up businesses.
CAH: Do you have a role model?
YANG: Steve Jobs, Miyamoto Shigeru and Gabe Newell. All three figures have the thing in common that they had courage to carry out a business they had faith in. Although everyone scoffed at their attempts and ideas, they produced sensational results dominating upcoming times. Steve Jobs, likely the most influential figure of 21st century, made integrated thoughts to produce Apple. Miyamoto Shigeru, producer of Super Mario, is presently a co-Representative Director of Nintendo. Without his career, the game industry may not have grown as big as it has and the Nintendo boom may not have grown since our childhood. Gabe Newell is the co-founder and president of a video game development and digital distribution company named Valve Corporation. Gabe Newell is the person most closely related to my present career. He had the idea to allow games to be downloaded online and take commission fees in this process when everyone else was striving to sell them in CD packets. Inspired by these role models, I made effort to follow these successful men who have had firm interests in one field of profession. I’m also confident to challenge ahead with my entrepreneur team.
CAH: What is your personal belief that led you to where you are now?
YANG: Looking into the modern society, there clearly exists an invisible rank. We are consistently evaluated by ranks and grades. However, accept the grades from CSAT (College Scholastic Ability Test), I’ll never accept any rankings implicitly given from society. Since I wish to become a person who invented a new path as a leader, instead of following the lines of what society has made, I will endlessly strive to follow what I truly believe in.
CAH: Can you give advice to students aiming to work in the field of MCN (Multi Channel Networks)?
YANG: Content marketing will definitely grow in its size. However, the key to success in this field is to be ahead of everyone else. Thus, it is critical to get started with work related to content production. Keeping up with new mediums and trends makes the turnover ratio of MCNs the fastest of all business genres. Since it is growing rapidly in Korean business industry and there exist millions of competitors, having good sense and skills for creative creation is compulsory. Besides, being a person who knows for certain what he or she aims to do and how much to devote to his or her goals is important.
Media contents market’s future looks very bright since we’re getting into the age of information-intensive society. To put in concretely, people now try to aggressively find contents which are interesting and suit their taste so that the time watching television has been decreased but the time looking youtubes or memedia videos is continuously increasing. Since smart phone has become a necessary for the modern people and internet is being utilized in many ways by numerous people, new platform, creative new content and arts will be consumed more and more. In this sense, Zombie king is very challenging but also convincedness as he developed his interests into a big industry. His thoughts, worlds, plans, and even his characteristics look very unusual but strong and creative. We could learn challenge spirit, passion, detailed thoughts, and the prospects of new-media industry from him. CAH hopes many students got inspired and also hopes Zombie King expand his area tightly as the time goes.
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