Netflix Teases ‘Squid Game 2’ Return

The Netflix original series “Squid Game” came out of nowhere last year to become the streamer’s all-time biggest ratings hit, tracking more than 1.6 billion hours streamed in its first 28 days of release.

Hwang Dong-hyuk

In a June 12 post, Hwang Dong-hyuk, director, writer, and executive producer of the South Korean-based survival drama, said it took 12 years to bring the first season of “Squid Game” to life last year. And it took 12 days for the show to become the most popular Netflix series ever. 

Dong-hyuk said the second season of the series is coming, without elaborating details on any launch date or program/cast details.

He did say that characters Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), also known as Player 456, and Hwang In-ho, a.k.a. “The Front Man” (Lee Bung-hun) would return, and that the man in the suit with ddakji might be back. 

“You’ll also be introduced to Young-hee’s boyfriend, Cheol-su,” Dong-hyuk wrote. 

“Squid Game” revolves around a contest in which 456 players, all of whom are in deep financial problem, risk their lives to play a series of deadly children’s games for the chance to win a $38 million prize. The title of the series draws from a similarly named Korean children’s game. Hwang reportedly came up with the idea based on his own financial struggles early in life, as well as his thoughts on South Korean class disparity and capitalism.

Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ First-Ever Foreign-Language SAG Awards TV Show Nominee

The Netflix original series “Squid Game” Jan. 12 made history as the first-ever foreign-language TV show nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award. The 2022 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 27.

The South Korean dystopian gameshow thriller “Squid Game” generated four nominations, including Best Drama Series Ensemble, Best Drama Series Actor (Lee Jung-jae), Best Drama Series Actress (Jung Ho-yeon) and Best TV Series Stunt Ensemble.

Since its debut last September, “Squid Game” has become Netflix’s most-watched original program with more than 1.6 billion hours streamed in the first 28 days globally. The tally is nearly bigger than Netflix’s next four most-streamed episodic programs combined: Three seasons of Spain’s “Money Heist,” and the first season of French thriller “Lupin.”

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“Squid Game” earned three Golden Globe Awards, including Best TV drama, and Best TV Supporting Actor (O Yeong-su). The series also has three Critics Choice Awards nominations and a win at The Gotham Awards last year for Best Breakthrough Series.

Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Sustained Streaming Domination Through Oct. 17

After a record-setting performance in early October, Netflix’s global hit “Squid Game” hardly slowed down, besting all competition on Nielsen’s weekly list of the top streamed movies and shows across household televisions through Oct. 17.

The venerable TV ratings firm tracks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+ and Apple TV+.

South Korea’s “Squid Game,” a show about a dystopian game show in which contestants wage battles with fatalistic consequences, tracked more than 2.25 billion minutes streamed across nine episodes. That was enough to hold off Netflix series “You” with more than 1.9 billion minutes across 30 episodes, and “The Maid,” with almost 1.5 billion minutes across 10 episodes.

Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy at Nielsen, said “Squid Game” gained global popularity at the start with 60% of viewers being multicultural. That percentage dropped to 40% as the program’s popularity and buzz grew.

“The initial buzz was really driven by Hispanic and African-American homes, and now the rest of the audience is catching up,” Fuhrer said on a video blog post.

Separately, longtime Showtime series “Shameless” made its debut on Netflix, quickly dominating the top licensed programs with 964 million minutes across 134 episodes. The non-PVOD access to Marvel Studios’ Black Widow on Disney+ attracted 441 million minutes streamed.

Original Shows:


SVOD Provider


Program Name


Number of Episodes


Minutes Streamed

1 Netflix Squid Game 9 2,254
2 Netflix You 30 1,938
3 Netflix Maid (2021) 10 1,474
4 Netflix The Great British Baking Show 69 519
5 Netflix Midnight Mass 7 445
6 Netflix Dave Chappelle: The Closer 1 357
7 Apple TV+ Ted Lasso 22 352
8 Hulu Only Murders In The Building 9 317
9 Netflix On My Block 38 311
10 Netflix Lucifer 93 307
Licensed shows:

SVOD Provider


Program Name


Number of Episodes


Minutes Streamed

1 Netflix Shameless 134 964
2 Netflix Cocomelon 15 662
3 Netflix The Blacklist 169 656
4 Netflix Seinfeld 166 581
5 Netflix NCIS 353 572
6 Netflix Criminal Minds 317 490
7 Netflix Greys Anatomy 379 416
8 Netflix Good Witch 80 357
9 Netflix Heartland 215 352
10 Netflix Supernatural 328 318



SVOD Provider


Program Name




Minutes Streamed

1 Disney+ Black Widow 1 441
2 Disney+ Hocus Pocus 1 240
3 Netflix Going In Style 1 239
4 Netflix The Forgotten Battle 1 195
5 Netflix Titanic (1997) 1 158
6 Disney+ Moana 1 155
7 Netflix The Guilty (2021) 1 155
8 Disney+ Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas 1 151
9 Netflix My Little Pony: A New Generation 1 136
10 Disney+ Cruella 1 131



JustWatch: ‘Halloween,’ ‘Squid Game’ Top October Streamed Movie, TV Show

Universal Pictures’ 2018 Halloween reboot and Netflix’s South Korean hit “Squid Game” were the most-streamed movie and TV show in October, according to new data from JustWatch.

The company’s international streaming guide tracks more than 20 million users per month across 54 countries.

The movie data is noteworthy considering Halloween is a catalog title, yet still bested new releases Dune (Warner Bros.) and 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy. Both movies generated significant box office during their theatrical runs, including topping their respective North American weekend debuts.

As expected, “Squid Game” has been on a ratings rocket ride since launching on Netflix in mid-September. After a slow start, the series about cash-strapped game show contestants subjected to fatalistic consequences, skyrocketed in buzz and popularity.

Netflix said more than 142 million subscriber homes watched the show in its first 28 days of release. The series even made news during the NBA pre-season when Los Angeles Lakers’ stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis got into a conversation about the series’ ending — at a press event.


Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Sets All-Time Streaming Record

The Netflix original series “Squid Game” dominated Nielsen’s weekly chart of the most popular movies and original series streamed to U.S. households the week ended Oct. 3.

The South Korean show about cash-strapped game contestants subjected to fatalistic consequences didn’t just lead all streamed content, it crushed the competition. The nine-part series generated more than 3.2 billion minutes streamed — topping the next four top-charting programs (all Netflix) combined.

The series, which entered the chart in mid-September with 206 million minutes, exploded last week with more than 1.9 billion minutes as buzz about the show radiated globally.

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“Almost two-thirds of the [Squid Game”] audience is multi-cultural, which is unusual,” Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy at Nielsen, said in a recent webcast.

Netflix’s The Guilty was the most-streamed movie with 469 million minutes, while licensed show “Cocomelon” generated 635 million minutes across 12 episodes.

Original Series:


SVOD Provider


Program Name


Number of Episodes


Minutes Streamed (Millions)

1 Netflix Squid Game 9 3,260
2 Netflix Midnight Mass 7 1,171
3 Netflix Lucifer 93 536
4 Netflix The Great British Baking Show 67 534
5 Netflix Sex Education 24 469
6 Apple TV+ Ted Lasso 21 455
7 Amazon Goliath 32 359
8 Netflix The Circle 37 266
9 Hulu Only Murders In The Building 7 263
10 Disney+ What If…? 8 223

Licensed content:


SVOD Provider


Program Name


Number of Episodes


Minutes Streamed

1 Netflix Cocomelon 12 635
2 Netflix NCIS 353 560
3 Netflix Criminal Minds 316 515
4 Netflix Greys Anatomy 377 425
5 Netflix Heartland 215 421
6 Netflix Gilmore Girls 153 382
7 Netflix Manifest 42 337
8 Netflix Downton Abbey 50 301
9 Disney+ The Simpsons 535 284
10 Netflix Supernatural 328 283



SVOD Provider


Program Name




Streamed (Millions)

1 Netflix The Guilty (2021) 1 469
2 Netflix My Little Pony: A New Generation 1 393
3 Netflix The Starling 1 322
4 Netflix Britney Vs Spears 1 300
5 Netflix Grown Ups 1 211
6 Disney+ Hocus Pocus 1 196
7 Disney+ Cruella 1 177
8 Disney+ Luca (2021) 1 170
9 Netflix Intrusion (2021) 1 161
10 Netflix No One Gets Out Alive 1 152


‘Squid Game’ Could Drive Netflix Asia Sub Growth

Netflix original South Korean series “Squid Game” generated 142 million households watching the horror show worldwide in its first 28 days on the SVOD platform.

New data from Bloomberg Intelligence suggests Netflix could double its Asian subscriber count with the addition of other localized content. The SVOD pioneer ended the most-recent fiscal period with more than 30 million Asia Pacific region subs, including 2.2 million net new subs — the highest regional gain.

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“So far this year, almost half of Netflix’s new users came from this region, where the company has just 16% penetration in its targeted market,” Bloomberg analysts Geena Ranganathan and Kevin Near wrote in a note.

The analysts contend the streamer could double subscribers to more than 65 million by 2024. They believe Netflix could capture 30% of the Asian-Pacific’s 214 million broadband households, with the region representing 22% of Netflix’s 2024 subscriber base compared with the current 14%.

In the United States, Netflix household penetration is near 60%, with Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) around 26%, and Latin America at 45%.

Other Netflix strongholds in Asia, include Japan, with 23% of APAC households, excluding China), South Korea (12%) and India (14%).

Ranganathan and Near say Netflix got off to a strong start in the current 4Q and could top its 8.5 million projected subscriber additions. They cited Sensor Tower data that suggested a 26% increase in global downloads from Oct. 1-20, compared with the previous-year period.

“Returning hit shows such as ‘The Witcher,’ ‘You,’ ‘Money Heist,’ ‘Emily in Paris’ and ‘Tiger King,’ could help sustain momentum through the rest of the year, while movies like Red Notice and Don’t Look Up may increase engagement,” they wrote.

South Korean ISP Wants Netflix to Pay More for Broadband

On the heels of Netflix’s global hit “Squid Game,” a legal battle between the world’s largest subscription streaming operator and a South Korean ISP has reignited the debate over net neutrality laws in the country.

Specifically, SK Broadband, the high-speed internet distributor of SK Telecom in South Korea, recently filed a countersuit against Netflix demanding the streamer pay for increased usage put on the network by its programs such as “Squid Game,” “Kingdom,” “#Alive,” “Itaewon Class,” “Sweet Home” and “D.P.,” among others.

In late June, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed Netflix’s claim and ruled that SK Broadband had the legal right to seek compensation — an amount to be determined through negotiation between the two companies.

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Currently, Netflix doesn’t pay for its 3.8 million subscribers using upwards of 10% of South Korea’s broadband capacity streaming “Squid Game,” the horror-themed dystopian game show that has been watched by more than 142 million Netflix households since launching Sept. 17.

The debate has also ushered in political action within the government regarding tax payments and other expenses foreign companies generate doing business in the country.

In an Oct. 24 blog post, Dean Garfield, VP, global public policy at Netflix, argues SK Broadband’s fiscal demands would stifle Netflix’s ability to make a profit in the region, in addition to the streamer’s ongoing investment in local content production — it values at more than $1 billion.

“‘Squid Game’ is just the beginning,” Garfield wrote. “We appreciate what Koreans have long understood. There is so much more where this story came from. But, unfortunately we have come to a crossroads … where internet gatekeepers could get to decide if the next great Korean story can be watched, and loved, by the world. Why would anyone want that? That is the question.”

To counter claims worldwide that Netflix’s popularity puts strains on local ISP networks, the streamer has long advocated ISPs employ its free open-connect cache servers to help alleviate the strain its subscriber’s usage. It enables Netflix content to be stored as close as possible to subscriber homes, avoids clogging up the internet, saving ISPs upwards of $1.2 billion in related usage costs, according to the streamer.

“The overwhelming majority of our ISP partners around the world use Open Connect, because why wouldn’t they?” writes Garfield. “We deliver it to them for free. It’s proven to reduce at least 95% of network traffic, leaving lots of room for other content to go through.”

Meanwhile, some South Korean lawmakers allege Netflix has shifted much of its localized revenue to a Dutch holding company to reduce its tax burden. Netflix in 2020 generated about 415.4 billion won ($355 million) in revenue, realizing a profit of $7.5 million. Lawmakers contend Netflix reduced its tax burden to 2.1 billion won ($1.8 million) through its offshore accounting maneuver.

Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Climbs Atop Nielsen Streaming Chart

Netflix’s South Korean horror thriller “Squid Game” dominated weekly streaming on household TVs through Sept. 26, according to updated Nielsen data. The nine-part series generated more than 1.9 billion minutes — easily topping combined Netflix original British series “Sex Education” with 856 million minutes across 24 episodes, and licensed fare “Lucifer,” with 860 million across 93 episodes.

Netflix recently disclosed the series attracted a record 142 million subscriber households in its first 28 days of release. The streamer launched the show about cash-strapped contestants playing children’s games with fatalistic consequences on Sept. 17.

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Separately, Netflix home invasion drama Intrusion was the top-streamed movie with 331 million minutes. The film, starring Logan Marshall-Green, Robert John Burke and Freida Pinto, was released Sept. 21.

Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.
Original Content:

SVOD Provider

Program Name


Minutes Streamed

1 NETFLIX INTRUSION (2021) 1 331
4 NETFLIX SAFE HOUSE (2012) 1 223
7 DISNEY+ LUCA (2021) 1 200
9 NETFLIX KATE (2021) 1 147

Ted Sarandos: Netflix Management Wasn’t Sold on ‘Squid Game’ in the Beginning

With South Korean original horror series “Squid Game” setting viewership records for Netflix, it would be easy for co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos to take credit for a show 142 million Netflix households streamed in the first 28 days following its Sept. 17 debut.

Speaking on the company’s Oct. 19 webcast, Sarandos gave credit to the streamer’s South Korean team that recognized the show’s potential when acquiring the rights two years ago. It was not a sentiment equally shared stateside.

“I can’t say that we had the same eyeball on it that it was going to be the biggest title in our history around the world,” Sarandos said.

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The executive said that the show tracked like a local-language show that mushroomed globally. At the same time, he said predicting the success of a program is unrealistic.

“In 10 years trying to sell [‘Squid Game’], our team recognized something nobody else did. And created an environment for that creator to make a great show,” Sarandos said. “How something can go viral is really hard to predict, but it’s super powerful when it happens.”

The co-CEO said “Squid Game” has been able to “deliver the goods” to be able and attract monster viewership, and have people talk about it in shorthand.

“Sometimes you think you have lightning in a bottle and you’re wrong,” Sarandos said. “And then you have a really great Korean show that happens to be lightning in a bottle for the rest of the world.”

The CFO was quick to point out that Netflix has had similar successes, just not on the same scale as “Squid Game.” Shows such Spain’s “Money Heist,” France’s “Lupin,” Germany’s “Blood Red Sky” and the U.K.’s “Sex Education,” among others.

Sarandos said Netflix’s content team continually focus on the reality that stories of the world increasingly come from all over the world — not just Hollywood. He said non-English-language content viewing has grown three times since Netflix began making original programming in 2008.

“The thing [our content teams are] mostly focused on are a bunch of shows you’ve never heard of, but are hugely impactful in [different] territories, like Denmark, Italy and India,” Sarandos said. “These are all shows that are meant to be hugely impactful and loved in territory, and if they really catch on, they travel a lot.”

Netflix: 142 Million Households Watched ‘Squid Game’ in First 28 Days; Streamer Tops Q3 Guidance, Adds 4.4 Million Subs

Netflix Oct. 19 revealed that 142 million subscriber households streamed original South Korean horror drama “Squid Game” in its first 28 days of release. The tally shatters the previous viewing record of 82 million households set by Shonda Rhimes’ period series “Bridgerton.”

The success underscores Netflix’s successful strategy creating shows that appeal to multiple demographics in different territories worldwide.

‘”Squid Game” has become our biggest TV show ever,” co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, and CFO Spencer Neumann wrote in a shareholder letter.

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Indeed, the series ranked as Netflix’s No. 1 program in 94 countries (including the United States). “Squid Game” has also pierced the cultural zeitgeist, spawning a “Saturday Night Live” skit and memes/clips on TikTok with more than 42 billion views. Demand for related consumer products is high, with merchandise items headed to retail, according to Netflix.

Separately, Netflix said it added 4.4 million subscribers worldwide in the third quarter (ended Sept. 30). The streaming pioneer added 2.2 million subs in the previous-year period. Netflix ended the fiscal period with 214 million subs — tops among all SVOD platforms globally.

Netflix said it expects to add 8.5 million global subs in the current fourth quarter.

The streamer said it under-forecasted (by 900,000) paid net adds for the quarter, while the paid memberships were within 0.4% of the company forecast. For the second consecutive quarter, the Asia Pacific region added the most new subs with 2.2 million net adds (half of total paid net adds). In Europe, Middle East and Africa, Netflix added 1.8 million, up from 188,000 in Q2.

North America, which includes the U.S. and Canada, and Latin America added a combined 400,000 — a relatively small amount given the high penetration of broadband in the regions.

“We believe we still have ample runway for growth as we continue to improve our service [in the regions],” Hastings, Sarandos and Neumann wrote. “We’re very excited to finish the year with what we expect to be our strongest Q4 content offering yet, which shows up as bigger content expense and lower operating margins sequentially.”