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Netflix considers making Korean contents to boost subscribers

According to Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea,

Netflix, the world’s largest video-streaming service provider, plans to produce original series for Korean viewers as the company is seeking ways to lure more viewers to subscribe Netflix that was launched in Korea early this year.

The company’s co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings told the Maeil Business Newspaper after a press conference held in Seoul on Thursday that his company is considering content production in Korea and details will be announced later this year.

Netflix debuted in Korea in January, but has been struggling against fierce competition in the local streaming service market and a lack of content for Korean viewers. Market insiders have pointed out that the company needs to be more aggressive in increasing its range of programs available to Korean customers to beat its Korean rivals. The decision to produce Korean contents aims to make a breakthrough in this situation.

Netflix services are available in 190 countries and its subscribers reach 81 million. The company grew to a giant content provider driven by some popular original programs such as “House of Cards” directly produced based on a big data analysis of its viewers. “House of Cards” already won some big Emmy Awards. Nearly 40 Netflix original programs have so far been nominated for the awards.

Netflix is now working together with Korean film director Bong Joon-ho to shoot a film “Okja”. The movie will be released exclusively on Netflix next year.

Hastings said he cannot comment on how much company is investing in making Korean content, but “Okja” is one of the most invested movies ever made in Korea.

The season 2 of “Sense8”, an American science fiction drama web television series created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and acted by Korean actress Bae Doona last year will be filmed in Seoul.

Netflix is also preparing a new program called “Drama World”, which will be filmed in LA and subtitled in Korean. The movie will feature Korean actors and actresses and K-pop stars, said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix.

A large-scale contest entertainment program “Peace Master” is being produced in California, where Korean TV personality Park Kyung-lim is a host.

Netflix is also expanding its network with Korean business partners. Recently, it announced a partnership with Korean cable TV company D’LIVE to bring Netflix content to set-top boxes, while it is in talks with Samsung and LG over smart TV applications.

Netflix considers securing one third of the total number of broadband subscribers in a new market in seven years since its launch as a success in terms of profitability, CEO Hastings said, adding that American video streaming service provider will continue to looking at ways to add subscribers in Korea.

By Lee Kyung-jin

Copyrights Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea. All Rights Reserved.

Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (Jul. 1, 2016)

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