Entertainment18 January 2022
From the iconic jumpsuits of Squid Game to the supernatural beings of Hellbound, Korean shows dominated global popular culture in 2021, and we have the numbers to prove it.
Overall, global viewing hours of our Korean shows grew six-fold last year, compared to 2019. To date, Squid Game is the biggest show we have ever launched, reigning as the most viewed Netflix show in 94 countries at its peak. In fact, 95% of Squid Game’s viewership came from outside Korea, and many of these viewers went on to explore other Korean content.
Two months after Squid Game, we launched Hellbound, whose premiere clocked 43.48 million viewing hours. Hellbound was among the Top 10 Netflix shows in 93 countries, and ranked number one in 34 countries. Sci-fi mystery The Silent Sea also made it to the number one spot on the weekly non-English Top 10 lists for its premiere.
Credit for this growing global interest goes to the talented Korean creators we have been working with for the past few years. From 2016 to 2021, we launched more than 130 Korean titles. As a result, Netflix has become a compelling destination for fans of Korean content, who know that this is the home of diverse and high-quality Korean storytelling.
As this fanbase increasingly includes viewers from all over the world, we are excited to continue collaborating with Korean storytellers to bring the K-wave to new heights.
To do that, we always ask ourselves: what are the kinds of stories that only Netflix can help these creators tell? You’ll find the answers in the more than 25 compelling Korean shows we are launching this year — our largest number to date.
Viewers can look forward to All of Us Are Dead, in which zombies invade a high school; , an adaptation of the popular Spanish series; and the action-packed thrills of Seoul Vibe, a film where the adventures of a special-ops team take place against the backdrop of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
We believe this is a slate that showcases more of the inventive and gripping Korean storytelling that the world has come to love. To do that, we will continue to invest in Korea’s creative ecosystem and, together, we will keep on showing the world that “Made in Korea” means “Well-Made”. This year, we look forward to the new conversations that will be sparked by a new wave of stories, as we help Korean content find homes in the hearts and minds of our global audience.
I hope that there will be many more amazing global moments for Korean content, and we will do our best to ensure that more people can enjoy the best of this content with Netflix in 2022.