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Netflix Plans $100 million Investment in Korean Programming

Netflix Plans $100 million Investment in Korean Programming

Netflix announced that it will spend $500 million this year on films and series produced in South Korea to broaden its growing slate of content from the country. Netflix will invest $100 million in Korea over the next six years through its special effects subsidiary Scanline VFX, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. 

Korean filmmakers and stars gathered in Seoul where the U.S. streaming giant announced its investment plans and also previewed images from its upcoming slate of local-language series. Netflix disclosed that as of the end of last year, the streaming service had 3.8 million paid subscribers in South Korea.

The investment will go to Scanline VFX Korea, which will decide how the money will be spent.  Founded in 1989, Scanline VFX is a Germany-based visual effects and animation company acquired by Netflix last November. It has worked on films with a lot of computer graphics, such as the Netflix original series “Stranger Things” and Marvel’s “Eternals.” Its Korean branch will build a special effects production facility in Korea and carry out other projects, such as education programs, according to Scanline VFX Korea studio manager Hong Sung-hwan. 

“Korean content is becoming increasingly popular, but it’s difficult to keep up with rising demand with the infrastructure we have at the moment,” Hong said. “We’ll be looking at various ways for this investment to revive the special effects and content production industry as a whole.” The investment was announced as U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Korea on a trip from Friday through Sunday, according to the trade ministry. 
A ceremony was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in central Seoul, attended by Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun, Scanline VFX co-founder Stephan Trojansky and President of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) Yu Jeoung-yeol. 
“At a time when the influence of Korean content continues to grow globally, we hope this investment will fortify Korea’s competitiveness in the media market,” Ahn said. 
In January, Netflix announced that it has invested over 1 trillion won ($789 million) in Korea since its entry into the market in 2016, and will continue to invest this year with the release of 25 new works. It launched the webtoon-based zombie flick “All of Us Are Dead” on Jan. 28. 

Source: Korea Joong Daily (2022) 

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