According to the same report, the company’s executives called on the employees to show responsibility with their expenses, among other things in relation to hiring, but said there would be no freeze on employees or additional layoffs.
Last month, the streaming giant published its reports for the first quarter of 2023 in which it surpassed analysts’ expectations on Wall Street when it recorded an adjusted profit of $2.88 per share on revenues of $8.16 million. In addition, Netflix expected revenues of $8.17 billion for the current quarter, with earnings per share of $2.82. The company also saw a deterioration in the line of operating profit.
At the same time, Netflix is spending $2.5 billion on Korean content and sees it as having the potential to penetrate markets beyond the Asian region, said Don Kang, Netflix’s vice president of Korean content. The company will invest the money over the next four years in various types of Korean content including TV series, movies and documentaries, Kang said. According to him, this will double the number of programs it produces, from four in 2022 to at least eight this year, reflecting the Korean audience’s demand for diverse content. Among the contents is the reality show “Physical 100” that came out earlier this year, featuring a hundred contestants who battle each other in a series of physical challenges.
“I think it was really the first show that was watched internationally, that got people really excited,” he said. Korean competitions or reference programs don’t usually go outside of Korea and the Asia-Pacific region, but Kang said the success of “Physical 100” is a “really positive sign.” “Physical 100” led Netflix’s weekly viewership for non-English TV shows for two weeks in 2022. Another Korean show that gained global success in 2022 was the reality show “Single’s Inferno,” which Kang said appeared in the global top 10 list.
Kang said he worked on the international distribution of Korean shows before joining Netflix in 2018. “Then it was mostly romantic comedies” that got attention, he said. Distribution has been limited to nearby countries such as Japan and other Southeast Asian countries because of language and cultural differences in other regions, he added. “You can’t underestimate the diverse tastes that people have all over the world,” said Kang, who gave the suspense series “The Squid Game” as an example.--
Kang said Korea has the ability to tell stories that convey its unique culture. “When a show is loved by Korean audiences, it has a very, very high probability of being loved by audiences around the world.”
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