INTERNET streaming service provider Netflix is looking to produce more content out of Asia as part of its plans to expand its offerings in the region.
The U.S. company’s chiefs Thursday said it was planning to gain more traction with its subscribers by engaging more Asian creators to come up with original series.
Netflix invested in South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s upcoming movie “Okja,” its first Korean film project slated for launch next year and is working closely with streaming service Viki to produce Korean-English drama series “Dramaworld”.
It is also buying the rights to distribute Korean drama. Starting this summer, subscribers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America will be able to watch “The Descendants of the Sun,” which was a blockbuster hit in China earlier this year.
Netflix already has 81.5 million subscribers and expects future growth will mostly come from overseas.
Having previously launched in Japan, Netflix was made available to subscribers in nations like Thailand, Singapore, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia earlier this year.
However, the popular streaming service remains unavailable in China and North Korea.
Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings said the company is now very focused on expanding in the region and recognized Korea as a “pivotal market in Asia”.
“Whereas Hollywood studios previously spread American content to other countries, we’re trying to export content from around the world to the rest of the world,” Hastings told a press conference in Seoul on Thursday.
“We started producing original programming in local languages in Mexico, Germany, France, Spain, Argentina and … now Korea, starting a few years ago.”
Additional reporting by Associated Press