Netflix to pump in $500mn for Korean content this year
Netflix is steadily spreading its branches. The streaming platform plans to spend around $500mn in 2021 to create South Korean films and television series—a nod to the country being one of the cultural powerhouses of Asia. This announcement was made at the See What's Next Korea event organized by Netflix in Seoul recently. In this way, they are tapping the surging "K-Wave or Hallyu."
The event was graced by directors of leading Korean content such as Yeon Sang-ho, Jung Byung-Gil, and Park Hyun-jin, and cast and crew of upcoming titles like Hellbound and Squid Game. Netflix maintained several Korean originals announced previously would make it to the platform this year. This apart, two unannounced titles Moral Sense (a BDSM drama) and Carter (an action thriller) were also announced.
Korean dramas have tasted unprecedented success overseas, although the country registers a comparatively moderate subscription of 3.8 million on Netflix. Sensing a lucrative opportunity, Netflix has pumped in $700mn between 2015 and 2020 by licensing titles and creating 80 original Korean films and TV series. This year also Netflix is venturing into its first Korean sitcom, So Not Worth It.
Minyoung Kim, Netflix's VP Content for Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, said dramas such as The Silent Sea, Squid Game, and Kingdom: Ashin of the North, documentaries such as My Love, and reality series Baik's Spirit are few of the titles bracing 2021. "We are working with top talent and filmmakers as well as exciting emerging voices from across Korea," Kim added.
The mushrooming popularity of Korean content has been strengthened after Parasite won four Academy Awards in 2020, while Korean-language film Minari is grabbing nominations and critical acclaim this year. "Our commitment towards Korea is strong. We will continue to invest and collaborate with Korean storytellers across a wealth of genres and formats," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix's co-chief executive officer.