Just six months after its launch, TraDigital entertainment company KROMA Entertainment, has already made an exceptional mark in the industry with key milestones achieved by its brands: ANIMA, Kroma PubCo, LiveMNL, NYMA, PIE, Paradise Rising and Secret Menu.
At its first in-person event “Kroma Overload” held on October 24, KROMA CEO Ian Monsod and the company's leaders recapped the year’s milestones and breakthroughs. Trade partners and media friends also got their first peek into exciting things to come from KROMA in 2023.
Hosting the event held at the Power Mac Center Spotlight in Makati City were NYMA talents “Mayora” Frances Lim Cabatuando, founder of Home Buddies, the largest Facebook group in the Asia-Pacific region, and its latest travel-themed spinoff Hangout Buddies; and multi-hyphenated multimedia artist and TikToker Raco Ruiz.
The event was opened in style by Asia’s Phoenix Morissette, belting out her viral song “Gusto Ko Nang Bumitaw.” Drag Race Philippines Queens Brigiding, Turing, and Corazon closed out the show with their surprise performances that got the crowd erupting in applause and cheers.
In between came the meat of the event, when KROMA brands shared exciting updates.
STORYTELLING ACROSS DIFFERENT LENSES
Director and host of ANIMA Podcast “Kwentong Creatives” Gio Puyat moderated an engaging fireside chat with Bianca Balbuena, head of Studios, Kat Bautista, head of NYMA, Mel Lozano-Alcaraz, head of ANIMA Podcasts and Jil Go, head of the Broadcast and Publishing group.
Conversations centered around how storytelling is central to KROMA, and how it has evolved together with technology and society. For one, the Philippines is ranked 6th among the fastest growing countries in podcast listening, with 31 million monthly listeners. Podcasts have now become a go-to platform for entertainment, a refreshing way to ease people from screen fatigue while still providing quality entertainment.
Content creators and the talents themselves have also become go-to sources of entertainment. Creators provide an authentic take on interests, causes and content close to their hearts through social media. Meanwhile, for tradigital channel PIE, storytelling is done with the audience’s inputs, gathering sentiment or feedback through polls, mood meters or quizzes.
For the Studios business, ANIMA takes on storytelling through the beloved medium of film by continuing to be courageous in bending genres and shedding light on underrepresented stories and characters, taking a new turn, approach, or angle to familiar stories and repackaging them into something fresh. B2B studio Secret Menu also takes on storytelling for its partner brands, serving fresh takes on classic storytelling through short-form video content made for TV commercials, TikToks and more.
ANIMA FILMS EARN ACCOLADES
ANIMA, the trailblazing film studio of KROMA, proudly shared that critically acclaimed “On the Job: The Missing 8,” the first HBO Asia Original series hailing from the Philippines, has been nominated for Best TV Movie or Miniseries in the International Emmy Awards and is the Philippines’ official entry to next year’s Oscars. Add to this its accolades across the international film festival circuit, including John Arcillataking home the Volpi Cup Best Actor prize at the prestigious Venice Film Festival in 2021.
Other recent ANIMA films “Leonor Will Never Die” and “Kun Maupay Man It Panahon,” have also been making waves in the global film festival scene, with both being awarded jury prizes from this year’s Sundance and Locarno Film Festivals, respectively.
BRINGING FILIPINO MUSIC TO A GLOBAL STAGE
Meanwhile, PARADISE RISING, KROMA’s music label in partnership with 88rising, has been successfully representing Filipino creativity in the global music stage.
Filipino-Australian singer Ylona Garcia brought over 300 million streams across audio and video platforms for her songs including “Entertain Me,” which she herself co-wrote. The track is the official theme song for NEON, the first Filipino agent of Riot Games’ “Valorant.”
Consecutively, Paradise Rising’s “semilucent” compilations have reached the third installment this year, tapping over 20 artists across 19 tracks and counting. Released during Filipino American History Month in October, semilucent 3 celebrates the beauty of the Philippines and its people’s aspirations through quality music that puts Filipinos to the forefront of the youth culture. The 4-track genre-bending compilation album showcases an impressive array of emerging Philippine artists: DACEY - "DON'T WAKE ME UP," Kristina Alcordo - "Senseless," Cabu, "Go Back (feat Gabby Nacua)," and 8rae's "Panalo". semilucent 3 is out now worldwide.
LiveMNL, KROMA’s full service events and activations agency, is bringing America’s biggest Pan Asian music festival, Head in the Clouds, to Manila on December 9 and 10. The 2-day festival at the SM Festival Grounds in Parañaque City promises to bring a memorable experience of music and art to all attendees. The official lineup for Head in The Clouds Manila includes headliners and 88rising superstars Joji, Jackson Wang, NIKI, Rich Brian, very special guest ZEDD and Paradise Rising’s very own Ylona Garcia and Guapdad4000.
MAKING WAVES IN ENTERTAINMENT AND PUBLISHING
NYMA, KROMA’s Talent and Influencer Management agency, has in such a short time signed four talents: Asia’s Phoenix, Morissette; Home Buddies founder and “Budol Queen with a Heart” Frances Cabatuando; multi-hyphenated multimedia artist Raco Ruiz; and Pinoy celebrity and K-content “kween” Kristel Fulgar. NYMA’s bookings business is also booming with over 40+ creators and talents signed.
KROMA’s revolutionary tradigital channel PIE continues to delight and inspire Filipino audiences with its innovative programming. Currently on its second season, PIE’s new programs include classic Pinoy games with an interactive twist “Matching Matching” and “Dagdag Bawas,” and “The Chosen One,” ang kauna-unahang Piliserye ng Bayan starring Kaila Estrada, Jhong Hilario, Melai Cantiveros and former PBB Teens housemates. PIE also added to its roster new PIE Jocks such as TV Patrol entertainment anchor Gretchen Fulido and actor/singer Elmo Magalona.
Meanwhile, Kroma PubCo, the company’s publishing arm, continues to grow its network with partners Unprude, a sexual wellness brand and e-commerce platform; food content creator Lunchboxer PH; professional esports team, TNC Pro MNL; and the gaming news platform and community, PinoyGamer.
WHAT’S NEXT IN 2023
ANIMA also shared its exciting lineup for 2023. “Nego King Philippines,” a local adaptation of the popular Korean series of the same title, will be delighting audiences with host Sam YG’s negotiating skills to lock in a special deal with popular brands. “Nego King” is taking shopping to new heights!
The film studio is also taking on the romantic film genre with upcoming releases “Reset U/I” starring Enchong Dee and Alexa Ilacad, and “Missed Connections” starring Miles Ocampo, Kelvin Miranda, Chie Filomeno and JC Santos. ANIMA is also set to release dark comedy and romance thriller “MARUPOK AF” starring EJ Jallorina, Royce Cabera and Maris Racal next year.
Kroma PubCo also announced that they are launching Complex Philippines in 2023. As one of the most recognizable media brands for youth culture in the US, there is much to look forward to when it comes to content and experiences related to music, sports and sneaker culture.
There is more to come from KROMA and its brands in the coming months. As CEO Ian Monsod committed in his opening remarks, this is just the beginning.
“There is so much more to come with KROMA. We are committed as ever to inspire and entertain the world with the best of Filipino creativity, through the most innovative means, to bring Filipino talent to the world stage,” Monsod said.
Expect KROMA to keep forging trailblazing paths in the entertainment industry.