Netflix to release at least 25 works of original content in 2022
Netflix Korea is planning to release more than 25 works of original content for 2022, and according to vice president of Netflix Korea Kang Dong-han, Korean content has become “an integral cog of the content industry that the streaming platform could not do without.”
In a press statement released by the platform Wednesday, the overall hours that global subscribers spent on Korean content increased by six times over the last two years based on the wrap-up data of 2021. For the hit series “Squid Game,” 95 percent of the streaming hours came from other 94 countries overseas including the U.S., Brazil, France and Turkey.
Due to the exceptional success Korean original content on the platform has seen after “Squid Game” — such as “Hellbound,” “My Name,” “The Silent Sea” and the recently-ended dating reality show “Single’s Inferno” — Netflix Korea announced that 25 original content works will be released this year, and more could be released based on the production schedule.
Last year, Netflix Korea released 10 original content works.
Although Kang did not elaborate on the exact numbers, the vice president confirmed that the platform’s original Korean content has become one of the important priorities that the platform is aggressively investing in.
“Netflix invested 500 billion won [$419.6 million] in Korean original content alone last year,” Kang said. “Korean content has now become a major category that the platform could not do without and not only Netflix but other foreign streaming services such as Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+ are aggressively expanding their territories into the local content industry as well. I believe that Korean content is now standing at the heart of global mass culture and the international status [over local content] has naturally been uplifted.”
Kang evaluated that the distinctness of local content in comparison to other countries is due to the already-higher standards locals have for storytelling.
“Even before Netflix began to pay attention to Korean content, our content was already superior,” he said. “From its foundation, Korea has had very high standards when it comes to creating content, and we’ve had established excellent infrastructures and productive systems from a highly competitive atmosphere that local broadcasters have formed over the years, which is why the public’s expectations are on par with the very best of international standards. Local creators have persistently deliberated over how they could, to the best of their capabilities, deliver the message they hope to get across to audiences through their narratives. That became a healthy basis to form a highly competitive edge that helps Korean content survive in the global market.”
Kang views that the competitive edge that Netflix has over other streaming platforms lies in the reputation that it has established over the years.
“It’s been already six years since we set eyes on Korean content on Netflix and it has actively pursued a variety of business models such as licensing,” he said. “Back then we started with only a possibility, but now Korean content has exceeded well beyond our imaginations in terms of the love and attention it receives from the global audience. I can confidently say that Netflix is the best partner to continue growing and developing with the expansion of the Korean creative ecosystem.”
Kang recommended keeping an eye out for three upcoming series that will be released on the platform soon.
“Personally for me, one of the highly anticipated series is zombie thriller ‘All of Us Are Dead’ which will be released on Jan. 28,” he said. “A lot of people have asked us how we could possibly create more stories with zombies, but we can recommend this series with confidence after seeing the final results. Our story is very distinguishable [from other prior zombie narratives] in the sense that it’s the young students secluded in a school that have to fight the zombies. The narrative has been established in a way that includes some highly distinctive local sentiments. Another series that we’re contemplating launching in February is ‘Juvenile Justice.’ I believe it’s well-made content that can open the grounds for discussions related to social issues that are prevalent now [...] Lastly, around Valentine’s Day, we will be releasing ‘Love and Leashes,’ one of the first Netflix Korea original films in which we talk about a topic that we’ve hardly discussed until now.”
BY LEE JAE-LIM [email@example.com]