A scene from Netflix’s Squid Game
Popularity of Netflix‘s hit drama “Squid Game” and other Korean series, and the recent success of movies like “Minari” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, the demand for Asian-language movies and TV shows is increasing worldwide. is increasing.
Most of that demand is driven by Netflix and warner bros discovery‘s Max, but also niche services like Rakuten Viki, which focuses on Asian entertainment.
Unwieldy libraries of streaming services have led some media companies to implement cost-cutting efforts to increase the profitability of their apps. However, investment in Asian content, especially South Korean content, remains high.
The share of global demand for Asian-language content reached 25% in the first quarter of this year, up from around 15% in the same period in 2020, according to data provider Parrot Analytics.
The supply of this content outstrips demand, meaning more content is being produced than people are watching, says Parrot Entertainment Industry Strategist Brandon Katz. Says it’s shrinking. Supply in the Asian language category outpaced demand by 4.7% in Q1, improving from 9.8% in Q1 2020.
“One might think that global supply outstripping demand could set back investment a bit, but the gap is closing considerably,” Katz said. citing the success of Netflix hits such as Of Us Are Dead. And “The Glory”. “We have seen steady progress and that is reflected in 2022.”
Since the beginning of the year, these titles have consistently earned four spots on Netflix, along with Squid Games and Special Lawyer Wu. global top 10 Non-English television hits. The thriller program “Squid Game” won the first place in spells.
last month on Netflix Said The company will expand its Korean content, nearly doubling its total investment since the company launched its service in South Korea in 2016. The streaming giant said it plans to invest $2.5 billion over the next four years to produce more Korean shows and movies. The investment comes after 60% of all Netflix members have watched at least one Korean show in 2022.
Global demand for Korean-language TV programming has increased since early 2020, but content supply is still outpacing it. Meanwhile, Parrott said the demand has been stagnant compared to other Asian-language TV series, especially Japanese and Chinese.
Netflix will focus on more than the increasingly popular Korean drama genre, said Don Kang, vice president of Korean content at Netflix. was recently told CNBC’s “Squawkbox Asia.”
“Our main focus is on the local audience in South Korea. I have found many times that I am very likely to be loved by others,” Kang said.
Netflix is part of a larger trend.Its popular shows, along with Asian-American hits like “Minari” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” have recently sweep This year’s major Oscar awards have benefited other streaming platforms, allowing US audiences to explore more Asian movies and TV shows.
Rakuten Viki homepage
Source: Rakuten Viki
The company said its registered user base will grow 27% globally in 2022, which will drive streamers to increase their investment in content by 17% in the same year. While the majority of content consumed on the service is still Korean content, viewership for Japanese, Chinese and Thai programming has also increased.
Karen Baek, vice president of marketing at Rakuten Viki, said in an interview that the company has been in the entertainment space in Asia for more than a decade, but recently there has been growing interest and passion for its shows around the world. I was. Licensed.
“Especially on Viki, we’re seeing a shift in the ethnic composition of the audience towards non-Asians,” Baek said. “But at the same time, the overall size of the audience is growing.”
Paek said streamers expect to see an increase in registered viewership and overall viewership as hits like “Squid Game” become mainstream.
Rakuten Viki’s user base is so dedicated that much of our content is actually subtitled by our community of volunteers around the world.Its content is produced and produced primarily in Asian countries, but the service license is specifically Asian American Pacific Islander It was released to U.S. audiences in May.
Other streaming services have taken a similar approach.Max Said We plan to increase and highlight Asian content during AAPI month.
“We’re seeing audiences change in terms of what they watch outside of Korean dramas,” Baek said, adding Chinese and Japanese dramas, as well as the hit “Thai boys’ love genre.” mentioned. for service.