Netflix’s new breakout hit is Squid Game and is shattering records for streaming giants worldwide. The horror series from South Korea has beaten previous records of former hits such as House of Cards, The Queen’s Gambit, and The Crown. It has captured the international markets just nine days after its release.
The popularity of the show was large because of word-of-mouth and social media. The show reached a wider audience as it has subtitles in 37 languages and dubbing audio for 34 languages, capturing the international audience.
Squid Game stars Lee Jung-Jae, Wi Ha-Joon, Park Hae-soo, O Yeong-su, Jung Ho-Yeon, Heo Sung-Tae, Anupam Tripathi, and Kim Joo-young in key roles.
The Most-Watched Foreign Language Title
While Netflix has its headquarters in the United States, most users hail from foreign countries. Squid Game took the crown of the most-watched foreign series on the platform after unseating Lupin. People in the USA cannot have enough of the show.
The plot focuses on a group of 456 people, hailing from different walks of life. Each of the participants of the show is battling some financial woes in their life. They are involved in children’s games such as Red Light, Green Light in the hopes of clinching the cash prize.
However, they realize that losing the kids’ games has dire consequences, leading to brutal and untimely death. The other shows on similar lines include The Hunger Games, Black Mirror, and it says a lot about the economic crisis that continues to impact the world (particularly South Korea). The parasite was a film with a similar social commentary on life in South Korea, making it a run-away hit in 2019.
Squid Game is a Bonafide Hit
The show has caught the interest of Netflix subscribers from different countries and walks of life, and it is becoming one of the streamers’ most popular shows ever. It might overtake Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton. As per reports, it became the No. 1 in the U.S. within four days of its release.
It will soon be seen by 82 million subscribers worldwide in the first 28 days. Compared to traditional T.V., the show is watched by 18-49-year-olds among the 40 highest-rated broadcast and cable shows of the past year combined. Not only are people choosing the streaming platforms taking over the traditional method of content digestion. But it also means that Squid Game is a hit, and the ratings prove as much.
Increasing Costs of Network Traffic
Squid Game was so popular in South Korea that one of the country’s chief internet service providers, S.K. Broadband is suing Netflix. This is because the show and other popular international titles are creating a bandwidth issue worldwide. This surge is increasing the network traffic, maintenance, and more, for the internet service providers.
The show’s popularity is important for Netflix, at a time when it has lost about 400,000 subscribers in the U.S. and Canada in Q2. However, things are changing, and as per reports, it gained 1.54 million new subscribers in the quarter thanks to the spectacular success of the show Squid Game. No wonder Netflix is focusing beyond the U.S. and Canadian markets as the international markets are now thriving and how!
The Evolving International Markets
The paradigm shift in the international market is not surprising. At least 65% of Netflix’s 209 million subscribers are outside the market of the U.S. and Canada. This is because of Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s Global T.V. chief, who took the reins a year ago to oversee the production of the local language originals in as many as 40 countries.
Under her leadership, Netflix is going from strength to strength. They spent $700 million from 2015 through 2020 and produced 80 films, series, and plans. The stakes are even higher, planning to spend about $500 million this year alone.
Netflix VS. Amazon
Meanwhile, other streamers such as Amazon and Discovery+ are trying to take over Netflix’s subscriber base in the U.S. The other streaming services are signing on the newest customers in the most recent financial quarter. But Netflix continues to have the lion’s share of the streaming pie. Everyone, including Jeff Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon, acknowledges this. Maybe that is why he didn’t hesitate to congratulate Sarandos on Twitter for the success of the show Squid Game.
Have you watched Squid Game yet? Let us know what do you think of the show.