Netflix to invest $2.5 billion in South Korea as K-content continues to dominate

service announced the investment on Monday as it looks to build on the success of K-dramas like "Crash Landing on You" and "Kingdom." Netflix is investing $2.5 billion over the next four years to produce more K-dramas, movies and reality shows.

Netflix to invest $2.5 billion in South Korea as K-content continues to dominate


Gawon Bae

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Michelle Toh, CNN

Netflix will invest $2.5 billion in South Korea over the next 4 years to produce K-dramas and movies.

The streaming giant made the announcement Monday following a Washington meeting between South Korean president Yoon Suk-Yeol and Ted Sarandos, its co-CEO.

Netflix announced the investment in 2016, which is more than double what it has done since. Netflix executives announced that they would invest $500 million in Korean content by 2021. This is on top of $700 million invested since 2016.

The latest news shows how the entertainment giant is increasingly bullish about Korean content. This content is being consumed enthusiastically by fans around the world.

Sarandos, in a Monday speech, said that the stories produced in South Korea "represent the global cultural zeitgeist." He cited the success of such shows as "Squid Game," The Glory," and Physical: 100.

The company's most popular show in the world was "Squid Game" which features contestants playing dangerous children's games for a chance to win huge cash prizes.

The Glory, a drama that tells the story of a woman who takes revenge on her childhood bullies was the most watched show in the world the week after its release.

Netflix reported that "Physical 100," an intense physical fitness competition, was the second most popular show in non-English around the world during February.

Netflix has a growing appetite for original content from abroad and is focusing on its prospects in other parts of the world as growth in North America, Europe and Australia slows.

The company announced in January that it would be releasing 34 new titles and returning titles this year, a record number of South Korean titles. Netflix reported that "over 60%" of its members watched Korean films or shows last year.

According to the firm, four of the top 10 non-English shows on the streaming service are also Korean. These include "Squid Game," All of Us Are Dead," The Glory,"and "Extraordinary Attorney Woo."

Yoon said to reporters on Monday that this new investment will be a "huge opportunity" for South Korea's content and creators, as well as Netflix.

Sarandos stated after the meeting that "we were able make this decision due to our great confidence in the Korean creative industries ability to continue telling great stories."

Netflix's most recent earnings show that it added 1,46 million paid subscriptions in Asia Pacific during the first quarter. This is the fastest growing region for the company, as other signups have slowed.

After announcing that it would crackdown on password sharing, the company reported that subscribers had a "cancelled reaction".

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