[News Article] Netflix to step up investment in Korean content, Netflix Korea VP says
Netflix to step up investment
in Korean content, Netflix Korea VP says
By Dong Sun-hwa, The Korea
Times - Global streaming platform Netflix will continue to invest in Korean
content and release more creative shows in 2022 to reach a global audience,
says Don Kang, the vice president of content for Netflix Korea, who won an
award at the 2022 Korea Image Awards, Wednesday, on behalf of his company.
"As of now, we cannot
reveal the exact amount of our investment for this year, but one thing is
clear; we will not cut back the amount," Kang said during a press
conference held at the InterContinental Seoul COEX prior to the awards
ceremony. Netflix, which said it would invest 550 billion won ($463 million) in
Korean content in 2021, won the Korea Image Stepping Stone Bridge award for
being a bridge between Korea and the world.
"All our rivals are
aggressively investing in the Korean market and we will also keep pace with
them," he added.
Kang then moved on to talk
about Netflix's other ambitious plans for 2022. "Last year, Netflix saw
huge success thanks to the popularity of content like 'Squid Game,' 'My Name'
and 'Hellbound,'" he said. "We are currently working on producing the
webtoon-based zombie series, 'All of Us Are Dead,' which will be released later
this month. On top of that, we will showcase some movies ― in which we
participated in the production ― as well as more entertainment shows that go
beyond existing genres and formats."
Hwang Dong-hyuk, the director
of the dystopian drama, "Squid Game," which was watched by more than
142 million households worldwide, received the Korea Image Stepping Stone award
for helping spread a positive image of Korea. Hwang, who could not attend the
ceremony due to a schedule conflict, showed his appreciation to the event
organizer, the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI), for honoring him in
a video message. He also delivered his thoughts on the success of his work.
"I think this very
personal and Korean creation has won the hearts of people worldwide because it
is refreshing yet universal," Hwang said. "I wanted to create a
personal story that fits Korean sentimens, as well as that of people outside
Korea. This is why I chose to feature very simple and cute Korean games that
everyone can easily understand. I tried to make them brutal as well, so that
people can compare them with the real world they live in."
The director also offered a
glimpse into his upcoming plans, saying, "I am planning to create
something futuristic... I would like to make a social drama centering on the
things that will happen in the next 20-30 years."
The Korea Image Cornerstone award
went to soprano Jo Su-mi, the first Korean artist to win a Grammy Award in
"I think the roles of
artists are really important at this time of the pandemic," she said.
"Performing on stage is a big part of my life, but these days, I am also
striving to nurture more young artists hailing from Asia. In fact, musical
prowess alone does not guarantee success. The artists should have a good
command of different languages, take good care of their health and know how to
communicate with people from different backgrounds. I hope I can nurture
artists with all these characteristics and see them perform on stages
The 17-year-old archer, Kim
Je-deok, who bagged two gold medals at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo,
clinched the Korea Image Budding Youth Award for enhancing Korea's national
image at a young age. He also expressed his gratitude during the ceremony and
talked about what he wants to achieve in the days ahead.
"My foremost goal is to
win the competition to participate in the Asian Games scheduled for
September," he said. "If I can take part in the Games, I hope I and
my teammates can win the gold in the men's team event… As an athlete, I always
have a burden on my shoulders, but I am trying my best to get over this."
The awards ceremony, which was
sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Sports
and Tourism, and the Korean Culture and Information Service, was joined by a
wave of opinion leaders, including Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong-moon,
CJ Group Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik, French Ambassador Philippe Lefort, Russian
Ambassador Andrey Kulik, German Ambassador Michael Reiffenstuel, Singaporean
Ambassador Eric Teo and Israeli Ambassador Akiva Tor.