Netflix is planning to invest USD 500 million in South Korea for 2021 and we couldn’t be more excited!
It is not news that Hallyu, the Korean Wave, has been dominating and influencing various fields in several parts of the world and is continuing to increase its dynamic day by day. Hallyu houses K-Pop, K-Drama, -K-Food, K-Fashion, K-Films, K-Beauty, and basically everything that is Korean that people love. K-Pop has become a genre in itself and we also have other Korean music genres. The industry is booming as they go full on with everything they do. Starting from training, to dedication, capturing and inspiring fans, lit concerts, and managing individual careers like solo tracks and acting, the industry has proved its worth.
But apart from K-POP, K-Dramas have also been playing a pivotal role in the spread of Hallyu Culture and over the years have continued to increase its viewer count and spreads Korean culture vastly. In fact, K-Dramas also help the younger generation as they grow up watching content that teaches them valuable life lessons, builds their standards, and further opens them up to new perspectives including showing concern and support for minority communities or vulnerable communities. Many film industries have been greatly inspired by the Korean Industry and have started remaking content that was originally Korean.
With all these mentioned factors and more, Netflix has made a great move to invest in such a potential filled industry that is reverberating vastly. Netflix affirmed that they had 3.8 million paid subscribers in South Korea in 2021.
In ‘See What’s Next Korea 2021’ event, as a part of Netflix’s Korea Preview for the year, Netflix revealed 13 original dramas, movies and shows that will be streaming on the platform this year. The dramas and movies cover a wide range of genres starring popular actors and celebrities. Some of the upcoming dramas that Netflix mentioned are, “The Sea of Silence”, “My Name”, “Move to Heaven”, “Squid Game”, “Love Alarm 2”, “Hell”, etc. There is also news of a sitcom- So Not Worth It, that is set to air this year. The stars in the sitcom include popular names like GOT7’s Youngjae and (G)I-DLE’s Minnie among others.
“Hallyu as we call it here in Korea, is a huge moment of national pride and we’re proud to be part of it. Great Korean stories are nothing new, in fact storytelling is deeply rooted in Korean culture. But today we live in a world where ‘Parasite’ is an Academy Award Best Picture winner, Black Pink plays Coachella, and over 22M households tune into a horror TV series, ‘Sweet Home’. Audiences around the world are falling in love with Korean stories, artists, and culture,”
Kim Min-Young, Netflix’s VP content for Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement.
Since the streaming platform had invested USD 700 million in South Korea over the last five years (2015-20) and watched the content consumption all around the world grow on a massive scale, they have decided to invest $500 million this year alone.
Over the years, Netflix has produced around 80 original shows and films including the hit zombie thriller series, ‘Kingdom’ by Kim Eun-Hee and young-adult drama ‘Extracurricular’.
Netflix has created more than 200 Asian original series and films since 2016. With over 25M paid subscriptions in the Asia-pacific region, the California-headquartered streaming platform is focusing more on producing content for markets like South Korea, India and the whole Southeast Asia region to facilitate its future growth momentum that seems to be already increasing every passing day.
“Over the last two years, we’ve seen the world falling in love with the incredible Korean content, made in Korea and watched by the world on Netflix,” said Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and Chief Content Officer at Netflix. Ted also assured that Netflix will continue to invest and collaborate with Korean storytellers across a wealth of genres and formats.
South Korea is reportedly Netflix’s third-biggest market in Asia by sales, following Australia and Japan, according to consultancy Media Partners Asia. It is also estimated that Netflix’s subscriber base in South Korea could jump up to 5 million this year.
The popular K-Wave or otherwise known as ‘Hallyu’, is a term referred to the growing popularity of Korean culture through its films, series, music, food, fashion and lifestyle. India has been hit by the K-Wave long before Netflix came into the country. After the streaming platform became popular, the consumption of Korean films and series has only increased by a great amount. Today, every other person you meet is a K-Pop fan and almost everyone is aware of what a K-Drama is. Whether they like it or not, the awareness of K-Dramas and K-Pop existence is itself note-worthy in our country. Though scattered and young, Hallyu fans in India have shown their love and dedication by forming communities and hosting meet-ups. Many online Korean news and blogging portals have come up, some K-Pop concerts have been hosted in India as well by Pink Box Events, and Korean Culture Centre India has also played a major role in spreading Hallyu in India.
Of course, there is still a long way to go in terms of availability of merchandise and albums concerts in the country, but for now, this level of Hallyu awareness and content consumption is all that we ask for!