Streaming giant Netflix has revealed how it plans to spend some of the $2.5billion it has saved for the South Korean market.
On Thursday, the company’s Co-Chief Executive Officer, Ted Sarandos, said they will bankroll training programmes for the new crop of filmmakers and entertainers. Per Bloomberg, Netflix will collaborate with local organisations to identify and develop young talent.
It has been estimated that around three-fifths of Netflix users have watched a South Korean title, with viewing time for programmes from the country rising six-fold over the past four years. Sarandos explained that 90% of the viewership for Korean romances is from abroad.
In April, Netflix said they plan to spend $2.5billion in South Korea over the ensuing four years. “We were able to make this decision because we have great confidence that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories,” Sarandos said in a statement. “We were also inspired by the President’s love and strong support for the Korean entertainment industry and fueling the Korean wave. I’d like to personally thank the President for his kind response letter.”
Sarandos is visiting the country’s capital, Seoul, for three days to discuss their investment plans with production partners and officials, including Prime Minister Han Duk-soo. The Netflix boss asserted that investing in a way such as they plan to will have a more significant ripple effect on the broader economy.
“I wouldn’t say conflict, I’d say that there’s opportunity as businesses evolve,” Sarandos said in response to a question about an ongoing dispute with South Korean telecom network providers. “There’s a clear and direct symbiotic relationship between creative companies like ours and internet industries.”
Presently, Netflix is in a legal battle with SK Broadband over payments for using its network. The internet company blames Netflix for tremendous traffic growth and demands the US company pay for using its network. Netflix argues that it has no obligation to pay network usage fees.