Netflix May Double its Asia Subscriber Base Thanks to Originals like ‘Squid Game’

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With the high success of Netflix’s Original Korean thriller Squid Game, the streaming service has proven that international films can appeal to viewers all over the globe. The film has been a major hit in the U.S., while at the same time reaching more viewers in the Asia-Pacific region.

In fact, now that Netflix is tapping into that underserved market, viewers in that region may account for 22% of the streamer’s users by 2024, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Almost half of Netflix’s new subscribers this year have come from the Asia-Pacific region, where the streamer only has 16% penetration. In contrast, Netflix’s U.S. penetration is near 60%, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) around 26% and Latin America 45%.

Netflix’s push for international expansion has lead to foreign language hits like Money Heist, and Squid Game, with no signs of easing up, The streaming service recently opened two new production facilities in South Korea, signed a multiyear lease with Japan’s Toho Studios and production partnerships with three Japanese and one South Korean anime studio, among others to keep the momentum going. Netflix may spend almost 20% of its $8 billion original programming budget on Asian originals.

Netflix started out Q4 in full force thanks to Squid Game‘s record-setting 144 million viewers in its first four weeks. App downloads were up 26% compared to 2020, and with popular returning content like The Witcher, Emily in Paris, Tiger King 2, and more coming in November, the service may out perform its projected numbers for the rest of the year.

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