Netflix has announced plans to invest $2.5 billion in South Korea over the next four years, doubling its investment in the country since 2016.
The announcement came after a meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, during the former's six-day state visit to the US. Yoon welcomed the investment as a "major opportunity" for Netflix and the content industry of South Korea, as the country seeks to boost its cultural exports and influence.
Shares of South Korean production and entertainment companies rallied on the news, with Showbox and Studio Dragon up 8.75% and 2.26%, respectively, compared to the country's smaller Kosdaq index's 2.21% drop.
Netflix's decision was made due to "great confidence that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories," according to Sarandos. The company's recent global hits produced by South Korean creators, including "Squid Game," "The Glory," and "Physical:100," were cited as evidence of this confidence.
The funds will be used to produce Korean TV series, movies, and unscripted shows, in a bid to tap into the country's thriving entertainment industry, which has enjoyed a global boom in recent years.
South Korea's music market, led by K-pop groups such as BTS and Blackpink, has been particularly successful, with exports of content including music, video games, and films reaching a record high of $12.4 billion in 2021, according to government data.