It was a half hour episode that was animated by Production IG,
they condensed around 70+ chapters into one OVA which I found it licensed on crunchyroll as well,
I doubt this is a made for profit movie, its more a promotional for the webtoon itself,
and as a fan of this series, I love it and I think that was their purpose of creating it, which is does not explain how they made their profit, haha
Without inside data of how webtoon works, I wouldn't speculate how broke they are though, ha
the split between webtoon and naver could just be a preemptive smart move in case webtoon is getting sued for whatever reason, from operating in the fertile land of litigations called the united states, then the parent company in korea will not get dragged into any of this.
I'm sure they know that you can sue anyone for anything in the US, especially if they become more and more relevant as a big company, so it's not necessarily a bad thing to split, and we dont know if it means naver stop funneling money into webtoon as an investor.
Random advertising cost per cpm might be a race to the bottom, but if you read of the new targeted advertising algorithm that Facebook has, it's a whole other story, Facebook made 1 billion alone from advertising,
This is why the future direction of mobile vs desktop is not even a question,
cos the app can be designed to scans a bunch of information on your phone,
including where you are, what other apps you have, and that data alone will be transmitted back to webtoon to customized what kind of advertisement would be relevant to the each users,
and if you login with facebook account, they can see who your friends are, what article, movies and other things you like, your religion/political affiliations, and all these companies (facebook, twitter, google, line, etc) can share their data (for profit without user knowledge) and build a better targeted advertising that is all automated, relevant and will more likely produce result for the advertisers,
and this is not a race to the bottom.
I highly doubt a company that managed to design an app that leads millions of users willing to install in their smartphones will go down the route of inkblazers (fingers crossed, 123 )
cos collecting these personal informations of each users who use webtoon regularly itself is an asset worth millions of dollars in these internet age, even if they go bankrupt, someone else will purchase them just for that.
Based on the logic of Facebook made 1 billion in ads per quarter for having 1.2 billion monthly users using their 'free' app,
webtoon has potential of making how many millions? based on their 10 millions daily smartphone users...
so 3.6 million dollars patreon pledge for an entire year is like a small chunk if they managed to monetize ads to the level that Facebook does
(I have no data to back this up, just my observation from reading online stuff, so don't take my word for it lol)
As much as I love the community on tapas here, tapas has a bit of that mom and pop feel when it comes to the algorithm, and I found webtoon app made it easier to browse for things while tapas made it a little difficult to browse for things,
I'm sure this will change though, as tapas grow, and I hope it does
Anyhoo, I realized what I said this time seems contrarian to my previous thought of not knowing of how webtoon can fund all these free comics, but after reading your thoughts and a few google searches, I came to conclusion that they may be sitting on bigger things, and that's probably the reason why they're net explaining how they make their money
I'm not sure who's complaining here, but as far as logic goes, unless you sign exclusive contract with either one, they are under no obligation telling people how they make their money, especially if people choose to put their stuff for free on these platforms,
tapas and webtoon are enticing people to put up content here so they can make money off it, just like amazon have kindle and comixology. it's just the way the world is right now