Is Squid Game the dawn of a television revolution?


“They’ve worked really hard to repackage shows from other countries in a way that makes them extremely accessible to other audiences,” says Chen, who points out that Squid Game is the culmination of those efforts. Money Heist, Dark, Spanish school drama Elite, and Frenchman Lupine all worked to make Squid Game work, to put it another way.

Now, with Squid Game having proven that “stories don’t have to be told in English to be successful in English-speaking countries,” as Chen puts it, some industry experts are expecting an acceleration in investments in other countries from Netflix’s streaming rivals. , and more marketing space for non-English titles than they would have received before Squid Game. Apple TV +, for example, recently promoted a new South Korean production called Dr Brain (with Parasite’s Lee Sun-kyun) to UK audiences with regular trailers and posters both on their networks. social and on the platform itself, preceding other shows and movies. . “Six months ago, maybe they hadn’t advertised it with the same ferocity,” a source told BBC Culture. “The Post-Squid Game is a whole different ball game.”

More South Korean content

The most obvious likely effect of Squid Game’s success is that more South Korean content is being released to screens around the world quickly. It seems that there is an appetite for this: at the end of October, a Guardian article full of K-drama suggestions to watch if you liked Squid Game was one of the top 10 most read articles on the site, up there with whistleblower reports of Facebook’s internal practices and rumors from another UK coronavirus lockdown impending.

“People are discovering Korean content to a degree like never before,” says Paquet, noting that this “slow building process” began two decades ago with films like Park Chan-Wook’s cult Oldboy. “There were films that made [manage to] come into contact with a number of people abroad. The past two years, however, appear to be a big step forward, with more certainty to follow. “A source from a major streaming service supports this theory. When asked on condition of anonymity, they suggest to BBC Culture that With Hollywood film and TV productions still in catch-up mode after the pandemic has ended, streamers may well start laying off other existing South Korean shows to both capitalize on Squid Game’s success and keep their platforms full. of new content. is, if they can make their own investment by investing in South Korean creators and by then, how they might be able to close the gap in the short term by buying existing shows that are not not already available [in Western markets]”, they explain.” This was already happening of course, but after Squid Game, [there’s] much more urgency. “

Already, South Korean broadcasts have more visibility on the platforms. In November, Yeon Sang-ho’s violent fantasy series Hellbound benefited from a marketing campaign to capitalize on the success of Squid Game, which was prominently displayed in user libraries in a way that you believe wouldn’t have been the case if Hwang Dong-hyuk’s show hadn’t been popular. such massive success. Hellbound went on to overtake Squid Game as Most viewed Netflix show this month, topping the charts in 80 different countries within 24 hours of the premiere.


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