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Korean shows most-viewed of Netflix's non-English titles: report

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : May 28, 2024 - 14:47

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A scene from A scene from "King the Land," starring Lim Yoon-a (left) and Lee Jun-ho (JTBC)

Among non-English content streamed on Netflix during the second half of 2023, Korean shows were watched the most, according to a Netflix report.

"What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report" released Friday, showed that non-English content accounted for some 30 percent of all viewing on Netflix.

Titles in Korean (9 percent), Spanish (7 percent) and Japanese (5 percent) captured the largest shares of viewership outside of English, respectively.

Among Korean series, JTBC's romance series "King the Land" (2023), Netflix original series "Mask Girl" (2023) and "Celebrity" (2023) recorded the highest views out of all Korean series streamed in the latter half of 2023, with the titles logging 33 million, 18.5 million and 18.3 million views, respectively.

According to Netflix, views refer to the total hours viewed divided by the runtime.

Globally, in the latter half of 2023, anime-inspired live action series "One Piece: Season 1" ranked first with 71 million views, followed by Netflix's German miniseries "Dear Child" (52 million views) and Netflix original series "Who is Erin Carter?" (50.1 million views).

A scene from A scene from "Ballerina," starring Jun Jong-seo (Netflix)

Among Korean films, Netflix original "Ballerina" logged the highest viewership with 36.2 million views. It was followed by another Netflix original, "Believer 2," (15.6 million views) and "Pinkfong & Baby Shark's Space Adventure" (15 million views).

Globally, Netflix's science fiction flick "Leave the World Behind," starring Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke, logged the highest views (121 million), followed by Netflix original "Heart of Stone" (109 million) and Netflix animation film "Leo" (96 million).

The figures show the continued popularity of K-content on the global streaming platform.

"It's highly significant that Korean content accounted for nearly 10 percent of all non-English title viewings, considering non-English titles consist of content from a number of countries around the world," said pop culture critic Jung Ji-wook.

Things are not looking so bright for Korean content this year.

"Korean content on Netflix experienced a decline in performance during the first half of 2024. To enhance its performance, Korean content creators should avoid producing content where the plot remains largely unchanged with only the cast changing," Jung added.

Meanwhile, Netflix owned 15 percent of the Korean content surveyed in the report released Friday. The report analyzed the data of content streamed on Netflix in the latter half of 2023, with more than 50,000 viewing hours.

In April 2023, Netflix co-CEO Sarandos announced that Netflix would invest $2.5 billion in Korean content over the next four years at a meeting with President Yoon Suk Yeol held during Yoon's US state visit.