Is Netflix Riding the Korean Wave or Vice Versa?| Netflix Korea and Platform Creativity

Benjamin M. Han


This article examines how creativity is regarded as a significant corporate asset to Netflix’s rise as a dominant global streaming platform. Using Netflix Korea as an empirical case study, the article problematizes the institutionalization of Netflix creativity to construct the streaming platform as a peculiar cultural space for creativity and lure ethnic content creators while capitalizing on the particularities of Korean television production norms and practices. Drawing on critical media industry studies and analysis of journalistic interviews with Hwang Dong-hyuk, the creator of the global hit series Squid Game, this article examines the politics shaping Netflix creativity in terms of authorial value, labor, and intellectual property. The article moves away from a Western-centric study of creativity rooted in romanticism, inspiration, and neoliberalism to explore how creativity as a resource to Netflix shapes the interactions between the Korean television industry and the subjectivities of Korean creative laborers.


Netflix, Squid Game, creativity, platform, Korean television

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