Netflix to Korea: You're welcome
“Since 2016, Netflix has invested 770 billion won in content production and an additional 550 billion won this year as well,” said Kang Dong-han, vice president of Netflix Korea, during an online press conference Wednesday.
“The Korean series recently released by Netflix have resonated not only in Korea but all over the world. For instance, ‘Squid Game’ has topped the U.S. Top 10 chart, a first for Korean content.”
At Wednesday’s “Netflix Partner Day,” the company highlighted the contributions it has made to the Korean economy. Local companies that participated in the production of original series also took part in the conference to share their experience working with Netflix.
Companies that took part included special-effects makeup company Cell, special visual effects companies DexterStudios and Westworld, DexterStudios sound effects subsidiary Livetone and Iyuno-SDI Group, which specializes in voice dubbing and video subtitles.
According to a report produced by Deloitte Consulting Korea, the 5.6-trillion-won figure includes the revenue generated by production and distribution, as well as the follow-on effects of the spending, for example camera crews buying coffee between takes.
Of the amount, 2.7 trillion won went to film production and distribution, including Netflix revenue, 100 billion won to other creative industries, such as those involved in publishing, webtoons and music, and 2.7 trillion won went to non-creative businesses, such as those involved tourism, beauty, fashion and food.
Many Netflix Korean originals are based on webtoons or web novels, such as “Sweet Home” (2020) and “D.P.” And 42 percent of people who watch Korean videos consume webtoons, web novels or music related to the videos. Viewership of webtoons and web novels that original series were based on surge by up to 20 times, according to the report.
Fans of Netflix originals like to visit the country where their favorite show was shot, so 1.86 trillion won was added for tourism. According to the Deloitte report, that number could have been 800 billion won higher had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a survey conducted by the Korea Foundation for International Cultural Exchange of 8,500 people outside Korea, 64.3 percent said they watched Korean films through Netflix and 63.2 percent watched Korean dramas through Netflix.
“We are honored to be able to work together with the creators who are writing the new history of Hallyu,” Kang said, referring to the Korean wave. “Netflix continues to endeavor to present works with emotion and powerful stories that are unique to the Korean creative ecosystem."
Netflix has had a record year so far in 2021 in Korea, with 75.3 billion won of revenue from local subscribers in August. Netflix has 3.8 million paid memberships in the country.
"D.P." and "Squid Game," its two most recent releases, have been performing well in Korea and outside, with the latter topping the Top 10 TV Show list in 76 countries.
Netflix has more original Korean content coming up, including sci-fi thriller “The Silent Sea,” and second seasons for the romantic comedy “Love Alarm,” drama “Move to Heaven,” and horror series “Hellbound,” directed by Yeon Sang-ho, who also directed “Train to Busan” (2016).
BY YOON SO-YEON AND LEE JAE-LIM [email@example.com]