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The Big Take

Netflix Needs New Subscribers. Its Korean Playbook Is Its Secret Weapon.

In the race to global streaming domination, Netflix’s success with ‘Squid Game’ and ‘Kingdom’ gives it a map to winning over the rest of Asia. 

Viewers who watched “Squid Game” on Netflix went on to watch more shows in Korean.

Viewers who watched “Squid Game” on Netflix went on to watch more shows in Korean.

Source: Noh Juhan/Netflix

It took “Squid Game” just four weeks this past fall to become the most-watched Netflix Inc. show ever released in any language. But when it comes to the streaming giant’s global ambitions, what happened afterward matters even more — viewers who devoured “Squid Game” started watching more shows in Korean.

During the week of Oct. 11, “My Name,” a drama about a woman seeking to avenge her father’s murder, jumped into the Netflix top 10 for non-English series. The following week, “The King’s Affection,” a romance set during the Joseon Dynasty, did the same. The week of Nov. 15, “Hellbound,” a fantasy thriller set in the near future, supplanted “Squid Game” as the most-watched non-English show on Netflix across the world.