Netflix co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, has unveiled an ambitious investment plan for South Korea, set to unfold over the next four years. This groundbreaking announcement was made during a recent press conference in Seoul, highlighting the streaming giant’s commitment to nurturing and leveraging the immense creative talent in Korea.
“It’s been an amazing partnership between the Korean content community and Netflix. But I believe we are just scratching the surface of the possible,” Sarandos explained. The forthcoming investment represents a doubling of Netflix’s initial commitment when it launched in the region in 2016. A significant portion of this funding will be directed toward training programs for emerging creators, both “in front of and behind the camera.”
Netflix’s magnified presence in Korea stems from the global popularity of Korean content, which skyrocketed with acclaimed series and films like Squid Game, All of Us Are Dead, and The Glory. The escalating demand for K-Content has influenced the platform’s strategy significantly.
Between 2022 and 2025, one in five titles made for Netflix will come from first-hand Korean writers or directors. This shows how much we are committed to growing our community in Korea.
— Ted Sarandos
The CEO also noted the challenges in meeting the high demands of the audience and the necessity of learning, adapting, and innovating. He stressed, however, that this commitment to the partnership and ambitious investment was due to witnessing the high viewership rates for K-Content among Netflix members.
In emphasizing the worldwide impact of Korean content, Sarandos pointed out that around 60% of Netflix’s user base has engaged with Korean productions. There’s been a sixfold surge in the viewership of Korean content in the last four years alone. Interestingly, 90% of the viewership for Korean romance-themed content is international. These impressive numbers not only show the global attraction of Korean media but also illustrate its essential role in boosting the Korean economy.
Sarandos emphasized that Netflix has pioneered the amplification of local narratives for its international audience, with Korean content standing out for its exceptional reception. The platform’s investment strategy centers on fostering original, compelling stories from a vast array of over 50 countries, reflecting its commitment to showcasing global talent and content diversity.
We wanted to build audiences globally since we believe that great stories come from anywhere. And nowhere has this been more true than in Korea.
— Ted Sarandos
As the CEO explained, the success of this approach is particularly evident in Korea, where the rich tapestry of local storytelling has resonated strongly with Netflix’s worldwide audience.