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Viewers, critics and academics agree that streaming has changed the way of making, watching and thinking about TV. Each one in his field mentions to the algorithm as if it were an entity between mysterious (it is) and evil (hardly) that directs its consumption with a defined purpose, more business than art. And, in part, they are right.

From the night of its good times, television was built as an industry associated with the manufacture of household appliances that also promoted incessantly between one entertainment-always sponsored-and another. The arrival of cable TV first and streaming platforms later, proposed a new contract in which the subscription sets the standard and therefore it is necessary to produce content that attracts customers, that convinces them to pay what they previously received for free from air channels.

That paradigm shift banished conversations about ratings and audiences as mass concepts, and began to raise the possibility of creating niche programs specifically aimed at defined groups of content-hungry viewers that targeted their interests more directly than ever. But of course, in principle the plan perfectly outlined by the streaming services originating in the United States and associated with the traditional audiovisual industry did not count on the importance that the public in the rest of the world would have for its growth and subsistence. A fact that in the last year became evident catalyzed by the competition between different platforms.

Woman Scented Coffee Trailer

Netflix was the pioneer in more than one sense, the one that led the globalization of its productions and detected, as the communication academy pointed out decades ago, that beyond its outstanding proposals, viewers build their own itineraries in the catalog and that those interests they connect with their traditional cultural consumption, rooted in a narrative structure and form that ranges from the regional to the global.

For example, it is enough to review the local list of the ten most watched programs that Netflix publishes on its home screen. About three weeks ago, since it was available on the platform, the new version of the Colombian telenovela woman-fragranced coffee occupies the first positions and among the ten also appear for months the fictions the queen of flow Y Passion of Hawks. As if it were the evening slot of an air channel from the 90s, there are soap operas fighting -and winning-, the space with Hollywood series. A blow to the algorithm that Netflix has already begun to capitalize on.

The Netflix series Who Killed Sara?, will premiere its third season in June
The Netflix series Who Killed Sara?, will premiere its third season in JuneNetflix

With the slogan of N de Novela, the platform decided to rename and reclassify many of its programs made in Latin America as “novelas”, although many of them are not so either because of the theme or the structure of the story. Thus, successful series such as Who killed Sarah? Y Control Z now they bear that stamp and so will future releases like where was there fire, starring the former heartthrob Eduardo Capetillo (yes, the one with Marimar), Wild rythm, Hunch Y Triada. Far from the canonical definitions and close to the needs of marketing, the truth is that given the evidence of the interest of its public to continue its traditions as viewers on the platform, in 2022 Netflix will give them the pleasure.

And on the other side of the world, in South Korea, the platform is applying the same formula as in Latin America. The best recent example of such a mechanism was the squid game and its unexpected global event. The fiction of pure Korean lineage achieved that in a few months each new cycle made in that eastern country is expected and promoted on Netflix with a vigor that was previously reserved only for English-speaking programs. It must be said, of course, that The enormous success of that series was not exactly a coincidence but the first evidence that the investment of 500 million dollars that the platform made last year in the Asian country was going to bear fruit..

The truth is that the considerable budget allocated to South Korea was not a leap into the void but a studied step forward supported by the vibrant, varied and successful audiovisual production of that leading country in the rest of Asia decades ago. Now, keeping their essence, K-dramas, as happened before with K-Pop, are beginning to gain space and fans in Western popular culture.

Twenty Five, Twenty One, the new Korean romantic series that will arrive on Netflix in February
Twenty Five, Twenty One, the new Korean romantic series that will arrive on Netflix in FebruaryMH – Netflix

As he explained a few days ago to THE NATION Don Kang, vice president of content for Netflix in South Korea, the secret to the success of content made in his country largely lies in the fact that his team’s intention is never to reach a global audience, but rather to produce the best possible programs for viewers. Koreans, developing stories with local identity. For the producer, it was that authenticity that opened the door to the world for them. That added, of course, to the extraordinary screenwriters, directors and actors who are part of a long audiovisual tradition accustomed to working with remarkably varied themes and genres. This is how South Korea became the new mecca of quality fiction for streaming platforms.

  Snowdrop, the first Korean series to be seen on Star+ since February
Snowdrop, the first Korean series to be seen on Star+ since FebruaryStar+

To confirm its brand new status while Netflix plans to release in 2022 more than 25 Korean titles between series, movies and reality shows -the horror cycle is now available We are dead and in the middle of February the romantic comedies will arrive Twenty Five, Twenty One Y Forecasting Love and Weather-, its competitors are also jumping on the train from Seoul to the world.

The drama will premiere on February 9 on Star+ Snowdrop, a fiction set in the 80s starring Jung Hae-in and Jisoo, a member of the successful K-Pop group Black Pink. As a big first local premiere when Disney+ and its various channels launched a few months ago in South Korea, the series took advantage of its connection to music and its popular stars to attract the world’s interest.

Lee Min-ho in Pachinko, the family saga that will arrive in March on Apple TV +
Lee Min-ho in Pachinko, the family saga that will arrive in March on Apple TV +Robert Falconer – Apple tv+

To underline its objective, the documentary will be available on February 16 on Disney+ Black Pink The Movie. And the trend also includes Apple TV + which already has the Korean series Doctor Brain and on March 25 will premiere Pachinko, a US-South Korean co-produced family drama that follows the misadventures of a Korean family through the decades and stars Oscar winner Youn Yuh Jung for her work on the film Threaten (available on Amazon Prime Video) and Lee Min-ho, one of the most popular actors on Korean TV today.


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