Netflix’s Korean drama ‘Squid Game’ has officially become the streaming giant’s “biggest-ever series at launch”. The show has been watched by over 111 million users in the first 28 days since its debut on September 17, eclipsing the previous record of 82 million set by the Bridgerton last year.
Netflix counts a view when anyone watches at least two minutes of an episode.
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The raging success of ‘Squid Game’ further underscores how well the streaming platform’s strategy to make global hits out of international shows has been paying off in recent years.
The company started out as an exporter of American movies and shows to audiences in other countries over a decade ago. Now, operating in over 190 countries, it is very successfully using its global outreach to bring stories from across the world to a much bigger audience, with shows like ‘Money Heist’ and ‘Squid Game’ becoming sensations across the world.
‘Squid Game’ is the first-ever Korean series to rank No. 1 in the US, with a CNN report noting the show is also among Netflix’s top 10 in 94 countries.
“The reason 'Squid Game' has such great meaning for us internally is that it's perfect evidence that our international strategy has been right,” Minyoung Kim, a Netflix VP who oversees Asia-Pacific operations, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The strategy involves producing shows that are true and genuine to the region they are developed in. Kim believes “the most locally authentic shows will travel best”, adding that a project like ‘Squid Game’ breaks the barriers that existed between media markets.
Other projects like ‘Lupin’ have also dominated the charts in many countries, including ranking second in the US in January. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said at the time he believes the platform’s subscription model also helps push viewers into being “much more adventurous about what they watch”.