Netflix Invests $2.5 Billion In South Korea To Produce More K-Content

South Korean TV series, movies, and reality shows have continued to dominate globally and the streaming service is ready for more.

Netflix announced their $2.5 billion investment in South Korean media last Monday, following a meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and its co-CEO Ted Sarandos in Washington.

This is double the amount the streaming service invested in the Korean market since it launched in the country back in 2016.

READ ALSO: LA Asks: What’s Your Favorite K-Drama Series?

The plan will be put into action over the next four years. Their main goal is to create more K-dramas, movies, and reality shows for a global audience.

The popularity of Netflix’s Squid Game, All of Us Are Dead, The Glory, and Physical: 100 has attained global success. These projects, among many others, have drawn plenty of attention to the country’s creative industry.

Netflix’s hit K-series

Squid Game tells the story of debt-ridden individuals who agree to play deadly children’s games in order to win a huge cash prize. It became Netflix’s top show in 2021.

Last year, All of Us Are Dead was the highest viewed show in the first week for any Korean title. It reached 124.79 million hours watched. The story follows a group of students as their school becomes the ground zero of a zombie virus outbreak.

Earlier in March of this year, The Glory was the platform’s most-watched show globally the week it was released. The show centered around a woman taking revenge on her childhood bullies

Even the fitness competition show Physical: 100 became Netflix’s second most popular non-English show worldwide in February.

The rise of Hallyu

Hallyu or the Korean Wave has been on the rise for decades now, driven primarily by K-pop and K-dramas. Netflix’s timely decision to ride this wave is a well-informed investment.

“It is incredible that the love towards Korean shows has led to a wider interest in Korea, thanks to the Korean creators’ compelling stories,” said Sarandos in the press release. “Their stories are now at the heart of the global cultural zeitgeist.”

“With the partnership, we will continue to grow with the local industry while sharing the joy of entertainment with Korean storytellers to our fans around the world,” the co-CEO continued.

In January, Netflix announced that it would be rolling out 34 new and returning Korean titles this year. The platform’s audience data showed that over 60% of its users watched Korean shows or films in 2022.

President Yoon also spoke to reporters, saying that the new investment would be “a huge opportunity” not just for Netflix, but South Korea’s content industry and creators.

Banner image via Instagram @netflixkr.

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