This project explores ways to promote Korean and British media content in translation through streaming services with the goal of promoting mutual cultural exchange and sustainable media industries in each country. More specifically, this project investigates the ways in which translation can be used as part of the development and promotion of British and Korean media in the other country using streaming and Over the Top (OTT) services.

Despite the growing availability of media content from both countries in the other country, British media has typically been marginalised in Korean media culture and Korean films have largely appealed to a niche audience in the UK. British and Korean media can therefore said to be cult media in the other country and fandoms have grown up around them. However, following the free trade agreement between the two countries, which came into effect as of 1 January 2021, there are expectations of more direct cultural exchange and collaboration between Korea and the UK and potential for developing the trade in media content between the two countries. Currently, there is still a lack of connectivity between the media industries and little research addressing the production and reception of media content. Streaming video on demand (SVOD) and OTT usage has expanded more than ever before during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the strong presence of international subtitled and dubbed media on services such as Netflix highlights the importance of translation for the success of selling media content to new audiences. Streaming services have empowered viewers by enabling them to decide when, what, and where to watch media contents of their choice and have facilitated them exploring media products from around the world in translation. Through the translated distribution of media products, local productions can reach international audiences. This wider distribution through translation can support national media and creative industries through increased sales and more sustainable practices that reduce environmental impact while also creating local jobs. Netflix already has made a move to address the global challenges by being committed to hiring local crews (to avoid its carbon footprint from travel), and to reach its ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions. Little research has yet focused on this media exchange between South Korea and the UK through translation, nor on the ways in which developing this exchange can lead to more sustainable media and creative industries in each country. What scholarship there is has not researched the interconnection between translation, fandom, media distribution and sustainable working practices, as this project will.

This project will develop understanding of this media exchange by examining patterns and popularity of British media texts (films or TV shows) available on streaming services in Korea, and Korean media available on British streaming services, focusing on the role of translation in making British media accessible in Korea and vice versa. Through analysis of fan productions and discussion, it will examine the reception of media texts that are already available, with the goal of developing ways to promote British media in Korea and Korean media in the UK through OTT services and translation. It will explore how translations of media productions for international audiences can develop sustainable (in both an economic and environmental sense) media industries in the UK and Korea. It will connect British and Korean based academic researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and industry stakeholders through meetings, a symposium in Korea and a conference in London. The project will also use introduced film screenings in both the UK and South Korea to engage local communities and increase their interest in the media productions from the other country.