Netflix’s “Squid Game” successfully illuminates international discounts

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Scenes from Netflix’s “Squid Game”

Source: Netflix

In the streaming media war, the success of one company is the failure of another company.

Netflix’s “Squid Game” is an exception.

Netflix achieved its greatest success ever with “Squid Game”, a bloody dystopian Korean series that swept the world. More than 111 million viewers worldwide Have watched the show for at least two minutes.

Usually, popular series will breed competitive jealousy and anxiety. Netflix is ​​famous for its “House of Cards”, which bid more than HBO. This is the lament of HBO executives nearly ten years later. But some of Netflix’s competitors are cheering for the success of “Squid Game” because it further opens the door to non-American production. If foreign language TV becomes part of the standard content diet of American households, media companies can save a lot of money. Amazon, Apple, Disney, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, NBCUniversal, Lionsgate’s Starz, and Viacom CBS are all looking for new TV series that can attract the attention of the world.

Ajay Mago, a corporate and technology lawyer and managing partner, said that Hollywood studios levy tax credits and rebates from hungry countries by hiring local talents instead of Hollywood stars, seeking to improve tourism and recognition, and to avoid strict U.S. labor unions. Regulations, thereby saving millions of dollars. For EM3.

“Different countries have different incentive programs,” Mago said. “Some countries will give you free marketing or festival support through government channels. They may even give you free local co-producers.”

Romano Law’s entertainment lawyer and managing partner Domenic Romano said that Eastern European countries such as Hungary, Austria and Malta, as well as Canada, have long provided Hollywood with a large number of tax credits and incentives. But in the past, American productions often used international locations as stand-ins for American sets.

“They will come to Canada or some places that offer tax incentives, they will go to some American mailboxes and road signs, change their license plates, and look,” Romano said. “What is happening now is local content from these regions. The studio is no longer pretending.”

American audiences generally view foreign language films as niche content. Before the “Squid Game”, few non-English TV series became part of the mainstream zeitgeist. Romano said that keeping local actors and sets can save a lot of production costs. Romano said that, as in the past, replacing expensive Hollywood first-line actors to remake popular foreign shows can cost tens of millions of dollars per show.

Save intellectual property

Disney said this week that it plans to start producing 27 new TV shows and movies for Disney+ and its Asian streaming service Disney+ Hotstar in the Asia-Pacific region. According to a report from Bloomberg this week, the total cost of making “Squid Game” was only $21.4 million. A top entertainment executive told CNBC that, according to American actors and union production regulations, the cost of “Squid Game” may be five to ten times the length of work allowed in South Korea.

Investing in local international productions can also save Hollywood film companies from investing in expensive intellectual property rights. Disney+ Marvel shows, such as “WandaVision” or “The Falcon”, cost Disney US$25 million per episode-more than all nine episodes of “Squid Game”This does not include the $4 billion that Disney paid for the acquisition of Marvel in 2009. According to the New Zealand Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, the first season of the upcoming “Lord of the Rings” series on Amazon Prime Video will cost US$465 million. Amazon paid approximately $250 million for the rights to Tolkien’s property in 2017.

The success of “Squid Game” may also be a boon for creators, who feel that the industry has always relied on the restart of superhero movies and old TV shows for reliable income. Finding new stars and ideas around the world can open up new growth avenues for artists and studio executives to mutually benefit each other.

“Netflix is ​​one of the first global streaming media in South Korea, and they are working hard to win the content competition,” Romano said. “It’s like the Cold War arms race is now a content race, and streamers are scrambling to find exclusive streaming content so that they can sign up for subscribers before the competition is fierce.”

On October 19th, when the global streaming media giant announces third-quarter earnings, investors will have a better understanding of how successful Squid Game has made Netflix’s profitability.

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Watch: Why Netflix can grow with its international model

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