In brief: Has your Netflix viewing habits change this year as a result of the pandemic? In addition to spending more hours on the service, US subscribers have been streaming an increasing amount of non-English language content, with Korean shows and movies proving particularly popular.
Speaking at a virtual keynote address at the Banff World Media Festival (via the Hollywood Reporter), Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos revealed that viewership for non-English Netflix content jumped 50 percent since the beginning of 2021, and interest in Korean content jumped 100% in the wake of Parasite’s Oscar win.
“People during the pandemic had a lot more time on their hands and were more curious to see things and were denied the ability to travel, so they were more interested to see [content] from around the world,” Sarandos said.
Netflix is packed with great shows and movies from Korea, including the “Game of Thrones meets The Walking Dead” Kingdom, Extracurricular, the brilliant Sweet Home (top), and #Alive. There's also plenty of fantastic content from other countries: Dark (Germany), Elite (Spain), Lupin (France), to name just a few.
Sarandos believes that as the vaccine programs continue to roll out and more areas of society open up, film and TV consumption trends will return to “normal” pre-pandemic levels, though not everyone will suddenly stop streaming new releases and return to movie theaters.
“I do think people will be very excited to get back to movie theaters. I’m excited to see that come back as well,” Sarandos said. “Sometimes [consumers] will go to the theater and sometimes they will watch the premieres in their homes.”