Squid Game to reel in $900m for Netflix

·2 min read
Squid Game - YOUNGKYU PARK
Squid Game - YOUNGKYU PARK

The hit show Squid Game is expected to generate almost $900m (£655m) of value for Netflix, according to internal estimates by the streaming company.

Around 132m people watched at least two minutes of Squid Game in the first 23 days of the violent South Korean show airing, according to data leaked to Bloomberg - beating a previous record set by the period drama Bridgerton.

Netflix estimates that 66pc of viewers, or 87m people, completed the series within the first 23 days. Viewers have spent more than 1.4bn hours in total watching Squid Game.

The show, produced by Siren Pictures, cost $21.4m to make, or about $2.4m an episode. It features heavily indebted characters persuaded to take part in children’s games in exchange for a cash prize - with deadly penalties for the losers.

Squid Game was written by Hwang Dong-hyuk in 2009, but he was unable to find a developer until Netflix became interested as part of a bid to expand its range of foreign programmes. The company has also scored a hit with the French language thriller series Lupin as part of the same initiative.

Internet traffic has surged in South Korea as a result of Squid Game’s success - sparking a lawsuit from SK Broadband, one of the country’s telecom businesses, in a bid to recover the cost of coping with this higher demand. A Seoul court said in June that it is reasonable for Netflix to be required to “provide something in return for the service”.

The show features heavily indebted characters persuaded to take part in children’s games in exchange for a cash prize - with deadly penalties for the losers - Netflix
The show features heavily indebted characters persuaded to take part in children’s games in exchange for a cash prize - with deadly penalties for the losers - Netflix

Netflix said it will review SK Broadband’s claim and in the meantime work with the company to make sure customers are not affected.

A lawyer acting for Netflix told Bloomberg not to reveal the Squid Game data, saying it was confidential.

They added: “Netflix does not discuss these metrics outside the company and takes significant steps to protect them from disclosure.”

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