The show is set to oust hits like ‘Bridgeton’ and ‘Lupin’ from American popularity
Netflix has a new breakout hit titled “Squid Game” that’s breaking records for the streaming giant worldwide and becoming absolutely inevitable here in the US
speaking on Vox Media’s Code Con Last week, CEO Ted Sarandos revealed that the South Korean horror series is the show he’s most grateful for on stage, even beyond prior hits like “House of Cards” and “The Crown.” He explained, this is because it is becoming so popular in international markets, at the time, just nine days after its release.
While the company is headquartered in the United States, most Netflix users are actually present overseas. As a result, “Squid Game” took some time to spread to international pop culture and attracted the attention of American customers, eventually ousting “Lupin” as the most viewed foreign language title on the stage. Now, the U.S. Even in the U.S. people can’t get enough “squid game”.
The plot focuses on a group of 456 people from all walks of life. However, they each have one thing in common. They are all in dire financial condition. They are all invited to participate in a series of children’s games such as “Red Light, Green Light” in hopes of winning massive cash prizes. However, it quickly becomes clear that the result of these children losing any sport is a brutal and untimely death. Many have compared the nine-episode series to “The Hunger Games,” “Black Mirror” and, due in large part to its commentary on the economic inequality ravaging the world (particularly South Korea), 2020 Best picture “Parasite”.
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Clearly, the show has achieved something special for Netflix subscribers from all countries and walks of life, rapidly becoming streamers’ most popular show of all time. Breaking Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton. According to Luck, it reached #1 in the US just four days after its release. It is expected to be viewed by over 82 million customers worldwide in the first 28 days. The outlet notes that, compared to traditional TV, this exceeds the number of 18-49 year olds estimated by Nielsen to have watched the 40 highest-rated broadcast and cable shows of the past year combined. Besides proving that streaming is definitely taking over as the preferred method of content digestion, it also proves that the “squid game” is a hit.
In fact, it was such a popular title in South Korea that one of the country’s major Internet service providers, SK Broadband, is suing Netflix over the added stress “squid game” and increased service to popular international titles such as is, increasing network traffic, maintenance costs and more, according to Reuters.
The show’s popularity comes at a critical time for Netflix, which recently lost 400,000 subscribers in Q2 in the US and Canada. However, wrap reports that it gained 1.54 million new customers in total in that quarter. As a result, it is clear that Netflix’s priorities may need to move away from the US and Canada as international markets become more and more lucrative.
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This change won’t be surprising, because as Fortune notes, 65% of Netflix’s 209 million subscribers are outside the US and Canada. That’s thanks in large part to Netflix’s global TV chief Bela Bajaria, who a year ago oversaw production of vernacular originals in 40 countries. Under his leadership, Netflix reportedly spent $700 million producing 80 films and series from 2015 to 2020 and plans to spend another $500 million this year.
Meanwhile, streamers like Amazon and Discovery+ continue to overtake some of Netflix’s subscriber base in the US, reporting that both streaming services signed the most new subscribers in the most recent fiscal quarter. Which is why Jeff Bezos didn’t think much about reaching out to Sarandos on Twitter to congratulate him on the success of “Squid Game.”
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