Netflix is doubling down on Korean content after achieving global impact with viral series like Squid game, The glory And Physical: 100.
The streamer said in a statement to local Korean press on Monday that it will spend $2.5 billion in South Korea over the next four years to produce unscripted Korean TV series, movies and programs. According to the company, the hefty investment would be double what Netflix spent in Korea between its local launch in 2016 and today.
The investment plans were first shared during a meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos in Washington, where Yoon arrived Monday for a state visit.
“We were able to make this decision because we are confident that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories,” said Sarandos. “I have no doubt that our investment will strengthen our long-standing partnership with Korea and Korea’s creative ecosystem,” he added.
The meeting with the Korean president took place at Washington’s Blair House and Sarandos was assisted by Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s chief content officer; Minyoung Kim, VP of Content for Asia Pacific (excluding India); and Kang Dong-han, vp of Korean content.
According to local Korean pressYoon encouraged Netflix’s latest investment commitment, describing it as a “great opportunity” for South Korea’s entertainment sector, as well as for Netflix.
Sarandos has personally kickstarted Netflix’s Korean content ambitions by funding Korean author Bong Joon-ho’s $50 million sci-fi action drama Okay in 2016. Since then, the streamer has both driven and fueled the global growth of K-content, delivering a series of international hits such as Sweet home, Squid game, Hell boundand most recently reality TV sensation Physical 100 and feature film Kill Boxing.
Meeting with Yoon, Sarandos described Korean creators as now “at the heart of the global cultural zeitgeist.”