Netflix achieved huge success last year with series like Squid Game and Hellbound and wants to bring the Korean formula of success to other countries in the Asia Pacific region.
It only took four weeks for Squid Game last fall to become the most-watched series of all time on Netflix, even though the show is not in English. More important than the high ratings, viewers who devoured Squid began watching more Korean-language shows, such as My Name and The King’s Affection.
In the week of November 15, Hellbound, a fantasy thriller, replaces Squid Game as the most-watched non-English program on Netflix worldwide.
In the past six months, South Korea has offered more Netflix shows than any other country except the United States.
213 million subscribers
Netflix had 213 million subscribers at the end of September and it is expected that one day the number of subscribers will reach 500 million.
Michael Morris, a Guggenheim analyst, told Bloomberg that the Asia-Pacific region is the biggest growth opportunity for Netflix right now. “If you want to reach hundreds and hundreds of millions of subscribers, a lot of that has to come from Asia because of its size,” Morris said.
A billion is spent on Korean content
In 2016, Netflix launched the streaming service in South Korea with high expectations, but the initial phase was tough. The country’s largest television studios and networks have been reluctant to license their programming to the little-known foreign broadcasting service.
Four years later, in 2020, the company made its first profit in South Korea. The country is now one of the largest Netflix markets in Asia, after Japan. So far, Netflix has spent over a billion dollars on Korean shows.
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