On April 25 KST, Netflix made a groundbreaking announcement that they will be investing over 2.5 billion dollars into Korean content over the next four years, equivalent to about 3 trillion won in Korean currency. The announcement was made by the firm’s co-chief executive, Ted Sarandos, after his meeting with South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol in Washington, D.C. President Yoon is currently on a state visit to the US and is expected to meet with President Joe Biden later in the week.
This investment comes as no surprise, considering Netflix’s recent success with South Korean productions, most notably the global phenomenon, ‘Squid Game’. This show has not only garnered critical acclaim for its cinematic quality but also skyrocketed in popularity, becoming Netflix’s most-watched series of all time with 111 million users streaming it within the first 28 days of its launch in 2021. In fact, among the top 10 non-English TV content of all time on Netflix, four notable Korean works, including ‘Squid Game’, ‘All of Us Are Dead’, ‘The Glory’, and ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’, have secured top rankings.
Mr. Sarandos expressed great confidence in the Korean creative industry’s ability to continue telling compelling stories, which motivated Netflix’s decision to invest in Korean content. He also acknowledged President Yoon’s unwavering support for the Korean entertainment industry, stating that Netflix was inspired by the President’s love for the Korean wave, which refers to the global popularity of Korean pop culture.
Netflix has been actively expanding its presence in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, and this massive investment further solidifies their commitment to the Korean market. The funds will be used to create movies and television shows that showcase the talents of Korean creators, with the aim of producing captivating content that resonates with global audiences. A Netflix spokesperson refrained from commenting on potential investments in other regions at this time but highlighted that the world’s interest has expanded beyond just Korean content to the creators behind it, promising exciting projects for viewers to look forward to.
However, Netflix’s ambitions go beyond just Korean content. With increased competition from streaming rivals such as Amazon, HBO, and Disney, Netflix has been searching for ways to reignite its growth. This includes cutting prices in multiple countries worldwide to attract more subscribers and cracking down on password sharing, which will result in additional fees for subscribers who share accounts with people outside their households. Netflix is navigating a changing landscape in the streaming industry and faces challenges in sustaining its growth in saturated markets.
In conclusion, Netflix’s announcement of a significant investment in Korean content reflects their recognition of the immense popularity and quality of Korean productions, as well as their confidence in the Korean creative industry. This move further solidifies Netflix’s commitment to the Korean market and sets the stage for the development of compelling content that resonates with global audiences. As the streaming landscape continues to evolve, Netflix is striving to stay ahead of the competition and maintain its position as a leading global streaming platform.