The ultra-violent South Korean series breaks a record, making the biggest start in the history of the streaming platform.
The South Korean dystopian drama Squid Game, launched less than four weeks ago on Netflix, has been seen by 111 million subscribed households, a record for a series start on the platform, the group said on Tuesday.
Combining social allegory and extreme violence, Squid Game features characters from South Korea’s most marginalized fringes, including an Indian migrant and a North Korean defector, participating in traditional children’s games to win 45.6 billion won (33 million euros ). Losers are killed.
“Squid Game reached 111 million fans – having the biggest start for a series “on the platform, Netflix tweeted.
The juxtaposition of children’s games and their fatal consequence, with a polished production and sumptuous scenography, has indeed conquered a very large audience around the world, the series prancing at the top of the rankings on Netflix in more than 80 countries.
The record was until now held by a series of a completely different kind, Bridgerton, narrating the sentimental intrigues of good British society at the beginning of the 19th century, which had been viewed by 82 million accounts during the four weeks which had followed its publication, at the end of December 2019.
Investment plan in South Korea
The figures released by Netflix, which count all accounts watching an episode for at least two minutes, are not subject to third-party verification, unlike audience measurements for traditional television.
The phenomenon Squid Game is the latest manifestation of South Korea’s growing influence on the global cultural scene, a phenomenon orchestrated and funded since the late 1990s by the country. After the K-pop sensation BTS, whose voice carries to the UN and Parasite, Palme d’Or at Cannes and the first film in a language other than English to win the Oscar for best film, Squid Game is therefore the latest manifestation of this “Korean wave”.
It should not fall again immediately: in February, Netflix announced an investment plan of 500 million dollars (432 million euros) for this year alone on series and films produced in South Korea.
This Korean box also reinforces Netflix in its strategy of producing more international content and in foreign languages. The streaming giant’s third biggest success is the made-in-France series Lupin, with French star Omar Sy playing the famous gentleman-burglar.