Netflix hopes for the next Squid Game as it invests $2.5bn in South Korea

Netflix will invest $2.5bn (£2bn) in South Korea in a bid to find the next blockbuster hit in the vein of Squid Game. Read More...
Squid Game - Noh Juhan/Television Stills

Squid Game – Noh Juhan/Television Stills

Netflix will invest $2.5bn (£2bn) in South Korea in a bid to find the next blockbuster hit in the vein of Squid Game.

The US streaming giant said it will commit the spending over the next four years to create new Korean TV series, films and unscripted shows, doubling the amount it has invested in the country since 2016.

Ted Sarandos, co-chief executive of Netflix, unveiled the plans following a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

President Yoon, who is in Washington on a six-day state visit, described the investment as a “major opportunity” for South Korea’s entertainment industry as the country looks to build its cultural exports.

South Korea has enjoyed massive growth in global demand for its cultural exports in recent decades. The trend – dubbed Hallyu, or Korean Wave – has been led by the country’s film and TV dramas, as well as K-pop bands such as BTS.

Exports of content including music, video games and films reached a record high of $12.4bn in 2021, according to government data, overtaking home appliances and rechargeable batteries in terms of volume.

The Korean Wave has also been an important form of soft power for the country and has helped to boost tourism.

Netflix has previously enjoyed huge success with Squid Game, a drama series in which cash-strapped contestants risk their lives in a series of deadly children’s games.

The show, which was released in 2021, remains Netflix’s most-watched series ever, racking up 1.65 billion hours of streams in 28 days following its debut.

In a statement, Mr Sarandos said: “We were able to make this decision because we have great confidence that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories.”

Netflix last week said it was closing down the mail-order DVD service that launched its business 25 years ago as it posted a modest rise in revenue and subscribers, driven by releases including Oscar-winning All Quiet on the Western Front and thriller series The Night Agent.

The streaming service is due to announce fresh UK investment plans later this week.

Read More

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment