A South Korean study found that online English-language posts related to Korean pop culture increased by 3,000 percent, or 30-fold, following the release of the popular Netflix series “Squid Game.”
The Korea International Cultural Exchange Agency (KOFICE) and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism released the report yesterday. They analyzed data from 15 countries across three categories of online media between June and December of last year.
The three categories included video and social media, community sites and review platforms such as YouTube, V Live, Reddit, Rotten Tomatoes, TikTok and Soompi, among others. According to the report, these platforms showed a significant increase in content related to Korean pop culture after the release of “Squid Game” in September 2021.
YouTube video posts related to Korean pop culture increased by over 30 times from 2,300 videos per week between June and August 2021 to 70,600 in December 2021.
Reddit saw an estimated 15,000 Korean pop culture-related posts per week in September before exceeding 20,000 posts in October.
Articles about Korean pop culture across foreign media also increased from 16.6 per week before “Squid Game” to 133.3 articles per week in October. Approximately 54% of articles were related to Korean pop culture, while K-drama-related articles accounted for another 32.5%.
Review platforms also saw an increased amount of Korean culture-related posts. One of those platforms, Rotten Tomatoes, went from less than 20 Korean pop culture content reviews per week to over 130 after the release of “Squid Game.”
KOFICE concluded that the release of “Squid Game” preceded an increase in Korean pop culture interest and online content created by both fans and the general population.
On Oct. 12, Netflix announced that “Squid Game” had made history by becoming the “biggest series launch” after reaching 111 million viewers within its first month.