It’s been a busy week on ICv2 and business news has been hopping, so I’m rounding up some major stories in this weekend column. 

Webtoon completed its initial public offering on Thursday, priced at the top of the range, and with additional stock authorized.  At that price, the public offering raised $315 million, with the potential for another $47.25 million possible if the additional authorized stock is purchased.  Parent Naver Corporation also purchased additional shares at the offering price for roughly $50 million.  So the total raise will be $365 million to $414.25 million, before underwriting discounts, commissions, and offering expenses.  The stock closed at $22.83 on Friday, which means the market cap is roughly $2.9 billion.  The company is one of the largest companies based on comics in the world, with $1.28 billion in worldwide sales in 2023 (see “Webtoon Files for IPO”).

Global supply chains are faltering, with the conflict in the Middle East and Houthi attacks on shipping through the Red Sea raising costs or causing ships from the Pacific to Europe to be rerouted around the southern tip of Africa. With higher rates on those routes, carriers are devoting ships to that traffic, impacting prices on trans-Pacific routes as well, according to the New York Times.  A 40-foot container from Shanghai to Los Angeles is now around $6,700, up from around $2,000 last December.  While a tripling of recent prices, it’s nowhere near the $35,000 prices we were hearing at the peak of the Covid-related supply chain congestion (see “Container Rates Dropping”).

Back in October of 2023, I did a news story talking about the declining footprint of DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD home video products in mass retailers (see “Home Video Landscape Transforming”).  Now we’re seeing the movement of those products to specialty retail, at least for one major chain; Barnes & Noble is doubling down on disc space in its stores, according to Media Play News. GameStop has also recently signed a deal to expand its disc inventory, and more record stores specializing in vinyl are also adding discs, according to the report. 

Back in October, when I wrote the original report, I noted:

“The market for physical home media has shrunk from $24 billion in 2006 to a little over $2 billion last year, according to the report, in the same range as the comics and hobby games markets.

“While the number of releases is shrinking, it’s clear that there remains a market of consumers, including collectors, for physical home media.  At one time, geek culture stores, including comic stores, frequently sold DVDs, including superhero, science fiction, horror, and anime and other animation fare.  Most left the business after unrelenting price competition from mass merchants and Amazon.  With a lot less competition, we wonder whether independent retailers could once again profitably offer DVDs and Blu-ray, focusing on the genre and collectible sides of the business.”

Since then, CGC announced that it will begin grading home video disc (see “CGC Launches DVD and Blu-ray Grading”), enhancing the collectible opportunities for the category.  Any stores out there stocking more discs these days?  Let me know at

Please subscribe to ICv2 Pro, which supports ICv2's business journalism.