Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ took the world by storm since its release and is now considered Netflix’s biggest launch ever, by reaching more than 111 million viewers worldwide. With this incredible success, the South Korean series further opens the doors to non-U.S. productions, which might save a lot of money for giant streaming platforms in the future.
In the past, U.S. productions often used international locations to bypass American taxes and avoid their strict union regulations. Moreover, many countries that are looking for bumps in tourism and recognition “will give you free marketing through government channels or support at festivals. They may even give you free local co-producers.” (Ajaj Mago, corporate and technology lawyer)
While earlier U.S. productions used international locations as stand-ins American sets, they are now starting to realize the potential of foreign language films and series, which have typically been viewed as niche content only.
“They’d come around to Canada or some place that offered tax incentives, and they’d drop in some American mailboxes and street signs, change the license plates on cars, and voila. What’s happening now is there is local content from these regions. Studios are no longer masquerading.”Domenic Romano, entertainment attorney and managing partner of Romano Law
All nine episodes of ‘Squid Game’ only cost §21.4 million (in comparison just one episode of Disney’s ‘Wanda Vision’ cost $25 million), partially because of South Korea’s 52-hours workweek rule. With ‘Squid Game’s worldwide success, other video streaming giants are investing in local international productions too:This week, Disney announced its plans for 27 productions in the Asia Pacific region for their streaming platforms.
CNBC noted that these changes in movie and series production “may also be a boon for creators that have felt stuck in an industry that has relied on superhero movies and reboots of old TV shows for reliable revenue. Tapping the world for new stars and ideas allows for new avenues of growth that can mutually benefit artists and studio executives.”
It will be interesting to see, whether the streaming platforms’ content will really become more diverse and ‘creative’ in the next years.