Syed Iqbal, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Crown Creations, a leading sales promotion, advertising and booking agency of TV and YouTube channels said, members of the media, particularly makers can learn a lot from the recent success story of South Korean show ‘Squid Game’, which is running on Netflix OTT platform.
According to media reports, the series has been surging in popularity since its worldwide release on September 17, 2021 and has been dominating Netflix’s Top-10 most popular programs for the last few weeks. But for as many people that are obsessed with ‘Squid Game’, there are still a significant number of people who haven’t watched it yet and likely don’t know what it is or what it’s about – or why seemingly everyone can’t stop talking about it. If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place.
In brief, ‘Squid Game’ is Korean-language survival drama series that takes place in South Korea. It opens by following a down-on-his-luck chauffeur and gambling addict named Seong Gi-hun who’s struggling to make ends meet while also trying to forge a relationship with his daughter, who lives with his ex-wife and her new husband. But when Seong Gi-hun is confronted by a strange businessman with an odd proposition, he suddenly finds himself thrust into a game alongside 455 other people who are similarly in severe debt and have, seemingly, nothing left to lose.
These 456 strangers are whisked away to a secret location where they are asked to play a series of kids’ games like “Red Light, Green Light.” The rules are simple – if you lose, you’re eliminated. What the guards fail to tell these contestants at first is that elimination means death, and for every contestant who is “eliminated” the cash prize for the ultimate winner grows bigger.
Whoever makes it through all six games alive will walk away with more money than they can imagine, but to get there they must compete against one another where the stakes are literally life or death.
Commenting on the popularity of ‘Squid Game’, Syed Iqbal said, there’s a lot to like about ‘Squid Game’. The premise is inherently compelling, and the season plays out in unexpected fashion — while Episode 1 kicks things off with a bang, Episode 2 does a great job of getting the viewer to invest in each character before things get really intense.
But perhaps there’s a greater, more depressing reason people are responding to ‘Squid Game’ — it speaks to the desperation and impossibility of upward socio-economic mobility that many feels. Just like another South Korean work of fiction recently connected to the world at large in the Oscar-winning ‘Parasite’, this series takes aim at the greed of capitalism and paints an unsettling portrait of the world that we live in. The lengths to which people will go for a chance to become incredibly rich, even if it means harming their fellow man, feel particularly ripe right now. And it’s a theme that connects globally – this is not an issue unique just to South Korea or America.
Syed Iqbal said, in contrast to most Netflix originals which peak in popularity two or three days after release and then fall off, ‘Squid Game’ is performing more like a weekly release as it continues to build off of positive word-of-mouth. The viewership is steadily growing, not sharply declining.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos recently said the show is currently their biggest non-English language show in the world and has “a very good chance” of becoming the biggest Netflix show ever made.
With South Korean show ‘Squid Game’ enjoying massive popularity amongst the viewers, what Crown Creations, a sister concern of Bangladesh’s largest production company and content provider Crown Entertainment is thinking about the prospect of releasing similar Bangla content of Netflix or other international OTT platforms such as Amazon, Disney, Hulu, Syed Iqbal said, “the prospect of Bangla content is massive considering the size of Bangla-speaking population in Bangladesh, India and the world. Currently there are over 300 million Bangla-speaking people only in Bangladesh and India, while there are hundreds of thousands in the world. Bangla is the seventh-largest language globally. So, for every OTT platform that is looking for huge number of subscribers, Bangla definitely is a very attractive language. Recently Indian OTT platforms HoiChoi and Zee5 have already started buying Bangla contents from Bangladesh, while few other international platforms are currently thinking about buying Bangla contents”.
He further said, “But, for international platforms such as Netflix or Amazon and Indian platforms such as Disney Hotstar, Sony Liv, Zee5, Voot, MX Player, Alt Balaji, Big Flix, Ullu App, Sun NXT, TVF Play, EROS Now, Jio Cinema, Airtel Xstream, Shemaroo, Viu etcetera, they first of all need to find an experienced production company and content provider in Bangladesh. And of course, Crown Entertainment should be their first choice because our company has by now produced hundreds of contents for the local TV and YouTube channels. We enjoy the reputation for the quality of production, while Crown is the only company in Bangladesh that has its own technical team along side cameras, editing panels, dubbing studios etcetera. We are looking forward to providing quality contents to Indian and international OTT platforms”.