Netflix has announced its plan to invest $2.5 billion in South Korean dramas, movies and reality shows over the next four years.
The announcement came on Monday following South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ meeting in Washington.
“We were able to make this decision because we have great confidence that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories,” Sarandos said in a statement.
We also were inspired by the president’s love and strong support for Korean entertainment industry. I have no doubt that our investment will strengthen our long-term partnership with Korea’s creative ecosystem. We are deepening our partnership with Korea’s creative industry which has produced such amazing hits as “Squid Game,” “The Glory,” “Physical 100.”
In 2016, Netflix invested $700 million in the East Asian country.
South Korea has boosted its cultural exports and influence through the “Korean wave,” or hallyu, with exports of content reaching a record high of $12.4 billion in 2021.
The country’s musical output is also a significant driver of the Korean culture global boom, with K-pop groups such as BTS and Blackpink leading the way.
As Netflix’s growth in North America and Europe slows down, the company is relying on original international content.
In January, the company announced its largest-ever lineup of South Korean content, with 34 upcoming titles for 2023, after data showed that over 60% of its users watched at least one Korean show or film last year.
In the first quarter, Netflix added 1.46 million paid subscribers from the Asia-Pacific region, making it the company’s fastest and most consistent source of growth.