'Squid Game' is most watched Netflix original series
"Squid Game" got the highest number of views in its first month of all original series launched by Netflix — 111 million viewers.
This surpassed the viewership of "Bridgerton" (2020), an American drama that chalked up views from 82 million accounts in the first 28 days of release, the streaming giant announced Wednesday.
This does not mean that 111 million people watched "Squid Game" from its seemingly innocent start to its inconclusive finish. It is the total number of viewers who watched for more than two minutes.
Since its global release on Sept. 17, “Squid Game” has conquered the No. 1 spot for viewership in 94 countries around the world, including Korea, Brazil, France and India. In the United States, “Squid Game” had been at No. 1 for 21 consecutive days as of Wednesday, the first-ever non-English series to hit that milestone.
Since the release of "Squid Game" last month, Netflix stock has been on the rise, jumping 6.6 percent as of Tuesday compared to the price on Sept. 16, the day before the series was released. It closed at $624.94 on Tuesday, 0.3 percent down compared to the previous day, after it recorded an all-time high of $639.1 on Oct. 6.
“When Netflix first began investing in Korea in 2015, it was the goal of the company to make content good enough to cater to the needs of Korean content fans all over the world,” said Kim Min-young, vice president of Netflix Asia Pacific content (except India). “'Squid Game’ has brought to reality things that we’ve only been dreaming of.”
Netflix invested 770 billion won in the Korean market between 2016 and 2020.
Its annual investment volume increased from 15 billion won in 2016 to 82 billion won in 2017, 92 billion won in 2018, 248 billion won in 2019 and 333 billion won last year.
This year, it earmarked another $500 million to create original content in Korea.
Sales of merchandise related to “Squid Game” have also been rising in Korea thanks to the popularity of the series. Online shopping malls reported increasing sales of green tracksuits, marbles used for games, aluminum lunch boxes and T-shirts with the number 456. Even sales of squid went up by 49 percent between Sept. 17 and Oct. 5, according to Lotte Mart.
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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