Netflix Squid Game boom leads to record Korean Lineup release
Netflix looks to build on the unprecedented success of dystopian hit Squid Game.
Netflix Inc. announced its biggest lineup of Korean shows ever, including a zombie invasion series and an adaptation of popular Spanish crime drama “Money Heist”, as the streaming service seeks to build on the unprecedented success of dystopian hit “Squid Game.”
The slate of more than 25 programs comes after a six-fold increase in global viewing hours of Korean shows last year, Don Kang, vice president of Korean content, wrote in a blog post. “Squid Game” remains the platform's largest series ever, with 95% of viewership from outside of the Asian country.
Netflix has invested more than $1 billion in generating Korean-language shows since 2016 as it seeks to expand its subscriber base outside the U.S., where user growth has slowed to a crawl. K-dramas are popular across the Asia Pacific, and the region's 4.3 billion people makes it the world's biggest market to tap.
Read more: Netflix Hunts for Subscribers in Asia After ‘Squid Game' Success
“Korean shows dominated global popular culture in 2021,” Kang wrote in the Jan. 18 post. “As this fan base increasingly includes viewers from all over the world, we are excited to continue collaborating with Korean storytellers to bring the K-wave to new heights.”
Netflix launched more than 130 Korean titles between 2016 and 2021. In addition to “Squid Game,” last year also saw the release of fantasy thriller “Hellbound,” which was among the platform's top 10 shows in 93 countries and ranked number 1 in 34 countries.
This year's line up includes high school zombie invasion show “All of Us Are Dead” and “Seoul Vibe,” a film set against the backdrop of the 1988 Olympic Games.