Squid Game, a dystopian and violent series from South Korea, made with a comparatively modest $21m has been an amazing killing for Netflix.
In its first 4 weeks it has been watched by 142m households. When you consider that the total Netflix subscriber base is 222m that is a huge take up, as indeed it would be considered a fabulous audience number for any media outlet.
Readers will probably know that all online platforms and streamers place a value on their users and use this as a benchmark of their Enterprise value. In the case of Netflix this is around $1300 per user. Documents seen by Bloomberg apparently allude to Netflix valuing Squid Game at $900m, based on its ability to attract new users and keep existing ones. These numbers mean that Squid Game is a monstrous success for Netflix
The success of a programme made outside the former traditional territories in USA and UK shows a new and interesting shift in viewer appetite. We have seen the incredible success of two French television series, Call My Agent and Lupin and the Spanish series purchased by Netflix, Money Heist. This demonstrates that Netflix is willing to take risks that most of its competitors would not take whose business model is fixed ratings, advertising and cable fees. Netflix is all about increasing subscriber numbers. Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman could never have been financed by a studio looking to recoup its outlay, but for Netflix it represented a prestige project that helped build subscriber numbers.
The influence and strength of Netflix has been of great benefit to the UK Film and TV Sector. It currently directly employs 20,000 people working on original productions with a total spend here of $1bn. Last month it announced that it was taking long term leases at Longcross Studios in Surrey. Netflix boss, Scott Stuber commented,
The artistry here (in the UK) is unparalleled; the crew; the costumes; the designs; the set build.
Finally, it should be noted that there does not appear to be a let up from Netflix of new, quality projects. Coming soon is Red Notice, an action movie starring Dwayne Johnson and Don’t Look Up with Leonardo Di Caprio and Jennifer Lawrence.
It is good to know that we can settle down with colder weather on the way and while away the hours watching quality content.