South Korea’s ‘Squid Game’ is Netflix’s biggest original show debut

[ – 2021.10.13] Hit South Korean show “Squid Game” has officially become Netflix’s biggest original series launch with 111 million fans worldwide, the streaming service said on Wednesday. The nine-part thriller, in which cash-strapped contestants play childhood games with deadly consequences in a bid to win 45.6 billion won ($38 million), has become a worldwide sensation for Netflix since its launch less than a month ago.

The series reached that total in just 27 days, since its release on Sept. 17, easily outpacing U.K. costume drama “Bridgerton”, which was streamed by 82 million accounts in its first 28 days.

Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told a tech conference in California last month said the streaming service was surprised by how popular “Squid Game” has become.

“We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity,” he said.

The series was so popular that South Korean Internet service provider SK Broadband sued Netflix to pay for costs from increased network traffic and maintenance work because of the surge in viewers.

The streamer spent $21.4 million on the hit Korean-language series, Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw reported on Wednesday, based on internal documents he obtained. Netflix declined to comment on the figure upon Insider’s request.

Netflix is investing heavily in the show’s home country of South Korea, committing to $500 million in the region this year, according to Variety.

But at nine episodes, “Squid Game” cost Netflix about $2.4 million per episode – a much smaller sum than some of the company’s other hit shows.

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