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Netflix’s $2.5 Billion Korean Investment Won’t Exploit Local Talent, Says CEO

Netflix’s $2.5 Billion Korean Investment Won’t Exploit Local Talent, Says CEO

Written by Sanjay Kumar


Entertainment Company

  • Founders: Reed Hastings, Marc Randolph
  • CEO: Greg Peters (19 Jan 2023), Ted Sarandos (14 Jul 2020)
  • Subsidiaries: Netflix Animation, Animal Logic, Scanline VFX, MORE
  • Founded: 29 August 1997, Scotts Valley, California

Netflix’s co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, assured on Thursday (June 22) that the substantial investment in South Korean content would not overlook young local talent, following demands from lawmakers to share more profits with creators.

South Korea has produced some of Netflix’s most successful shows, becoming synonymous with the country’s cultural exports and prompting Netflix to announce a $2.5 billion investment in Korean content in April.

Sarandos emphasized that Netflix ensures fair compensation for creators and producers while nurturing young talent. He referenced a report indicating that the success of Korean content, such as “Squid Game,” has generated thousands of jobs.

“At least one-fifth of our titles produced for Netflix between 2022 and 2025 will come from first-time writers or directors,” Sarandos stated during a press conference in Seoul.

Sarandos also mentioned Netflix’s collaboration with the Korea Radio Promotion Association to provide valuable experience to talented young individuals in the production industry.

Don Kang, Netflix’s vice president of Korean content, revealed the company’s plans to expand its investment in films and non-fiction, shifting focus from primarily producing series.

During his first visit to South Korea as co-CEO, Sarandos disclosed that Scanline and Eyeline Studios Korea, a Netflix subsidiary, would invest an additional $100 million in local content over the next six years, augmenting the $2.5 billion previously announced in April.

He was scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo on Thursday to discuss cooperation between South Korea and the United States in the video streaming market.

Earlier, Sarandos engaged with renowned South Korean director Park Chan-wook and film students, expressing his pride in the decision to showcase stories from various countries, not solely from Hollywood.

South Korea has contributed four of Netflix’s top 10 most-watched non-English language series, including “Squid Game,” “The Glory,” and “Extraordinary Attorney Woo.”

Some creators who have collaborated with Netflix appreciate the platform for providing opportunities when others did not.

However, as Netflix dominates the South Korean streaming market, concerns about its overwhelming influence have also surfaced.

To address this, the government recently announced plans to allocate 500 billion won ($390.09 million) to support local streaming platforms in competing against global rivals like Netflix, given the rising production costs.

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