Netflix Doubles Down on South Korean Market with $2.5 Billion Content Production Investment

Netflix has announced a $2.5 billion investment in Korean TV series, movies, and unscripted programming over the next four years, more than doubling its investment in the industry since 2016. 

Reuters tells us the news was made after a meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. 

President Yoon hailed the investment as a “major opportunity” for Netflix and the South Korean creative industry, which is looking to increase cultural exports and impact.

A Global Interest in South Korean Content

In recent years, the Korean entertainment sector, known as the “Korean Wave” or Hallyu, has experienced a global surge. K-pop groups such as BTS and Blackpink have been at the forefront of the music industry. 

According to government data, content exports like music, video games, and films hit a new high of $12.4 billion in 2021, surpassing home appliances and rechargeable batteries.

A 2022 survey conducted across 26 countries worldwide found that Korean dramas, or K-dramas, were becoming increasingly popular. 

The survey also revealed that 36 percent of respondents claimed that K-dramas were very popular in their respective countries that year. Furthermore, 66 percent of respondents believed that K-dramas were popular worldwide.

This increase in international interest in K-dramas is not new. Even before the release of the 2021 hit series “Squid Game,” K-dramas were enjoying an upswing in popularity overseas. 

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This increase in demand for K-dramas has significantly impacted entertainment exports, with K-drama exports surging by more than 72 percent in recent years.

Netflix to Boost Sales with South Korean Content Investment

Netflix has played a significant role in the globalization of Korean content. “Squid Game,” released in 2021, is Netflix’s most-watched series of all time, with 1.65 billion hours of watch time in the first 28 days, Variety reported.

Global blockbusters generated by South Korean creators on the streaming site, such as “The Glory” and “Physical:100,” have also gained recognition. 

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos stated, “We were able to make this decision because we have great confidence that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories.”

South Korean Entertainment Industry Saw Surge After Netflix Deal

Reuters also reports that shares of South Korean production and entertainment companies rallied after the announcement, with Showbox and Studio Dragon up 8.75% and 2.26%, respectively, compared to the country’s smaller Kosdaq index’s 2.21% drop.

President Yoon’s six-day state visit to the United States intends to enhance the two countries’ strategic relationship. Netflix’s investment announcement may pave the door for more US corporations to invest in South Korea’s content industry.

More Recent Developments from Netflix

The Verge tells us that Netflix has recently presented its slate of animated films for the next few years, but no specific release dates have been announced. 

The diverse lineup includes nine films, with a mix of previously disclosed titles and new announcements. The highly anticipated debut of Nimona, as well as the Spongebob spinoff Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie, are among these.

Stay posted here at Tech Times.

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