Global streaming service Netflix said Thursday that it will funnel US$500 million into creating South Korean projects this year, including two films.
"Netflix has more than 200 million paid users across the world, including 3.8 million in South Korea," Kim Min-young, vice president of Netflix, said in an event streamed online. "For 2021, we will invest $500 million into Korean content and help the entire world enjoy Korean shows."
Since its Korean market debut in 2015, the U.S. entertainment giant has spent some $700 million on South Korean projects and made about 80 Korean originals, including the historical zombie thriller "Kingdom" and the horror series "Sweet Home."
As Netflix has enjoyed success in the country on the back of its hit Korean titles, it has set up two filming studios in cities just north of Seoul as part of its strategy to expand original content production.
Moreover, Netflix said it will start producing Korean original films in South Korea for the first time since its entry into the country in 2015. Its 2017 original film, Bong Joon-ho's adventure "Okja," was produced in the United States.
They are the action film "Carter," directed by Jung Byung-gil, and the webtoon-based romance "Moral Sense" by Park Hyun-jin. But it did not elaborate on details of release schedules and the cast of the cited films.
The company has focused more on Korean TV series so far and just bought the distribution rights of five Korean films, including "Time To Hunt," "Call" and "Space Sweepers," to release them on its platform without theatrical runs.
The move came as Netflix has been making efforts to cement its solid position in the Korean and Asian streaming market in the face of fiercer competition this year.
Walt Disney Co. announced its plans to launch its flagship streaming service Disney+ in South Korea, while homegrown streamers like Wavve and Tving are moving to splurge on original content.
source: Yonhap News