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Korea-savvy Netflix Continues to Bolster Its Investment in Diverse K-Content

Netflix is ​​increasing domestic content investment and established a separate subsidiary office to double down its commitment to original contents.

Four years have passed since Netflix officially entered Korea and it has now become the number one OTT content provider in Korea. This was due to their "localization strategy" by actively investing large amounts of capital in Korean content throughout the years.

The giant now started to add more diverse plots which means the upcoming Kdramas will not only be limited to usual rom-coms. New slate of Korean shows range from reality to crime and sci-fi to thriller, dramas and more. ‘The Call’, starring actors Park Shin-hye and Jong-seo Jeon, is about a time-travel serial killer released on Netflix on the 27th; and ‘What Happened to Mr. Cha’, a new comedy flick starring Cha In-pyo and Jo Jung-hwan set for release in January. Big budget sci-fi ‘Space Sweepers’ starring Song Joong-ki and Kim Tae-ri will also be released on Netflix.

Source: Netflix poster of the movie 'The Call'

In the eyes of Netflix, securing Intellectual Property (IP) rights through investments in the production stage is overarching than releasing content on its platform in the first place. Obtaining the right in order to continuously distribute those hit contents exclusively on their platform is a better off strategy in the long-term.

Since late 2019, Netflix has ramped up investments and formed partnerships with CJ E&M, and JTBC on over 20 contents. In addition, it also acquired a 4.99 percent stake in Studio Dragon which means they can get a first-hand look for upcoming slates thus raking in surefire content.

Past investment that Netflix has involved encompassing tvN's 'Itaewon Class' and 'Mr. Sunshine', JTBC's 'King: Eternal Monarch' and 'Hospital Playlist'. And it obtained the rights to air these dramas as original content overseas.

Source: JTBC and tvN

In September, Netflix confirmed that it has established a new subsidiary office in Korea named ‘Netflix Entertainment Korea’ to double down on its commitment to produce more original content. This new movement underscores that Korean contents hold a special place in its business.

Source: Money Today via Naver

The reason behind Netflix buying big into K-dramas is loud and clear. Since Korean contents are the fastest shortcut to reach Asian audiences. Ted Sarandos, chief content officer (CCO) at Netflix, said at an event in 2018, "The world loves Korean content so much that Netflix will invest heavily in Korea as an important part of expanding in Asia." According to the industry, since 2015, netflix has invested nearly 800 billion won ($724 million) to financing partnerships and co-productions, and more than 70 Korean drama series have been released.