On Tuesday, Netflix Inc. (NFLX.O) announced that it will double its market investment since 2016 and invest $2.5 billion in South Korea over the next four years to produce Korean TV series, movies, and unscripted programming.
The American streaming provider made the news following a meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. On Monday, Yoon began a six-day state visit to Washington.
President Yoon hailed the investment as a “major opportunity” for South Korea’s content business as it aims to expand its impact and exports of culture.
In contrast to the country’s smaller Kosdaq index’s (.KQ11) 2.21% decline, shares in South Korean production and entertainment companies rose, with Showbox (086980.KQ) and Studio Dragon (253455.KQ) each rising 8.75% and 2.26%.
The South Korean entertainment sector, also referred to as Hallyu or the “Korean Wave,” has experienced a recent surge on a global scale. K-pop bands like BTS and Blackpink have driven the country’s music industry.
Government records show that in 2021, content exports, such as music, video games, and movies, hit a record high of $12.4 billion, surpassing rechargeable batteries and home appliances.
In a statement, Sarandos cited the streaming service’s international hits created by South Korean creators, including “Squid Game,” “The Glory,” and “Physical:100.”
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They said, “We were able to make this decision because we have great confidence that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories.”
With 1.65 billion hours of watching in the first 28 days, the 2021 “Squid Game” release is still Netflix’s most-watched series of all time.
According to pop culture expert Jung Duk-hyun, South Korean content and Netflix are mutually beneficial partners.
Currently, everyone benefits. With the aid of reasonably priced Korean programming, Netflix is managing to hold its place in the international market.
“At the same time, Korean content has enjoyed elevated global status through Netflix’s platform in recent years,” he said.
Last week, Netflix provided a less optimistic outlook than anticipated because it planned to crack down on unapproved password sharing in the second quarter to make changes, which would postpone certain revenue gains.
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