Kyowon (Korean for “No.1 or the best in Education”) was founded in 1985 and is one of the biggest publishing companies in Korea. The company provides educational content, picture books, animations, online service and digital content. Kyowon’s educational publications target prenatal care, babies and toddlers, pre-school children, elementary school students, and high school students.
Almost all of its titles are series- or program-based and focus on child development and educational needs. Kyowon's catalogue has 90 series, 90% of which are developed in house, with the remainder published in translation from around the world.
Kyowon has a sales force of 30,000 agents who work with 13,000 teachers to guide children through home study materials.
The company’s publishing operations are divided into three units. Kyowon Co. Ltd. publishes home-study programs and education services such as the enhanced schoolwork guide Red Pen and the educational storybook collection Kyowon All Story. Kyowon Kumon focuses on home-study programs. Kyowon Hipercent is a customized online learning service provider that launched in 2007.
Kyowon’s non-publishing business includes the former Kyowon L&C, which merged with Kyowon Co., Ltd. in 2014 and develops lifestyle products, and Kyowon Travel Service (a subsidiary of Kyowon Group), which creates educational travel programs. Kyowon is expanding its interests in life, health, and leisure as well as developing its existing educational and cultural businesses.
Kyowon was founded by Chang Pyung-soon, who started out in insurance and later sold books door-to-door.
Analysis & Key Developments
Kyowon’s publishing revenues in 2015 were flat compared to the previous year, after a drop in 2014 to 343 billion KRW from 372 billion KRW in the previous year.
Kyowon licensed 1,977 titles to 107 companies in 70 countries and sold television broadcasting rights of 45 shows in 18 languages.
Kyowon launched Kyowon All&G, an educational program for Android-based tablet PCs, in May 2014.
Kyowon launched the digital educational program Smart Red Pen in June 2015. Smart Red Pen is compatible with digital devices such as tablet PCs and is a supplement to Smart Pen and physical Red Pen books. Smart Red Pen won the Contents Grand Prize from Digital Management Awards.
Kyowon sold one million sets (or 40 million titles) of its bestselling Solutoy series in 2014. The Solutoy series was first published in 2007 and Kyowon has sold over 130,000 sets every year.