Is Netflix Riding the Korean Wave or Vice Versa?| Duality of K-Content in the Era of Netflix: An Investigation of Korean “Netflix Original” Characteristics
Through a comprehensive quantitative analysis of all non-U.S. Netflix Originals from 2015 to 2021, this study examines whether Korean content carries distinct characteristics compared with those of other countries. The findings reveal a predominance of dark K-dramas and a duality to Korean Netflix Original programming, characterized by high viewership and a lack of genre diversity. Netflix’s persistent focus on a limited set of genres can be both advantageous and restrictive, potentially fostering a unique K-drama brand or hindering the exploration of diverse genres. Therefore, this study recommends emphasizing platform studies and a political-economic framework in future research on the Korean Wave to better understand the evolving K-drama landscape, ensure continued growth and diversity of Korean content, and address challenges and opportunities posed by dominant platforms like Netflix.