Netflix is to invest close to $500m in Korea this year, with the streamer ramping up its local content production as it nears four million subscribers in the country.
In a statement, Minyoung Kim, Netflix VP of content for Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, said that the move came to “add more variety and diversity to our growing slate.”
The streamer has revealed that, as of the end of 2020, it had 3.8 million paid memberships in Korea. It has also announced two new Korean-produced original films; Moral Sense, from Park Hyun-jin, about an office worker whose fetish is discovered by a female colleague, and Carter, directed by Jung Byung-gilm about a man who wakes up in a motel room with no memory and sets out to save a kidnapped girl.
These follow previously announced Korean dramas, including The Silent Sea, Squid Game, and Kingdom: Ashin Of The North, reality series Baik’s Spirit, documentary My Love, and Netflix’s first Korean sitcom, So Not Worth It .
“The K-Wave, or Hallyu as we call it here in Korea, is a huge moment of national pride and we’re proud to be part of it,” said Kim. “Great Korean stories are nothing new, in fact storytelling is deeply rooted in Korean culture.
“But today we live in a world where Parasite is an Academy Award Best Picture winner, BlackPink plays Coachella, and over 22 million households tune into a horror TV series, Sweet Home. Audiences around the world are falling in love with Korean stories, artists, and culture. “
Kim added that since launching its first Korean original, the zombie thriller Kingdom, Netflix has introduced more than 80 original Korean shows and films to the service, ranging from young adult scripted series Extracurricular to sci-fi feature Space Sweepers.