Riding the K-Wave, Netflix Spotlights Stories Made in Korea and Watched by the World
VP of Content for Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia & New Zealand
I've always loved films and series from all over the world. As a kid, I adored the friendship and adventures of The Three Musketeers. When I was 13, I was mesmerized by a local production of Les Miserables. And of course, growing up in Korea, I watched Something Like a Star like everyone.
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. 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 22M households tune into a horror TV series, Sweet Home. Audiences around the world are falling in love with Korean stories, artists, and culture.
That's why we're investing nearly 500 million USD in Korea in 2021 to add more variety and diversity to our growing slate, and to entertain and delight the over 3.8 million Korean households* that subscribe to Netflix.
When we started working with Korean filmmakers and talent in 2016, we knew we wanted to tell stories that had never been told before. One of my team's favorite questions to ask any creator is, "What's the story you've always wanted to tell, but have never been able to?" This simple question was how we discovered our first Korean original, zombie thriller Kim Eun-Hee's Kingdom, and have introduced over 80 original Korean shows and films to our members around the world. These stories range from a young adult scripted series created by a first time writer Jin Han-sae in Extracurricular to the bold, out-of-this-world Space Sweepers.
We are working with top talent and filmmakers as well as exciting emerging voices from across Korea to make best in class stories across every genre. This year, we have Korean dramas likeThe Silent Sea, Squid Game, and Kingdom: Ashin of the North, bold films like Carter and Moral Sense, new reality series like Baik's Spirit, documentaries like My Love, and our first Korean sitcom, So Not Worth It . We can't wait for our members around the world to fall in love with these Korean stories.
*As of the end of 2020, Netflix had 3.8 million paid memberships in Korea.