Netflix reportedly spent $ 21.4 million on “Squid Game,” its biggest hit series of all time.
That’s a small amount compared to some of the other Netflix hits like “Stranger Things” and “The Crown”.
Streaming shows from other companies like Disney and Apple have similar budgets to a movie.
The boom in streaming platforms in recent years has sparked an arms race for content, inflating costs as media companies attempt to lure subscribers with a big budget IP.
But the biggest show in the world right now, Netflix’s “Squid Game,” isn’t based on any pre-existing IP addresses and costs a small sum compared to other streaming hits.
The streamer spent $ 21.4 million on the hit Korean-language series, Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw reported on Wednesday, based on internal documents he obtained. Netflix declined to comment on the figure at Insider’s request.
Netflix announced Tuesday that “Squid Game” was its biggest hit series, with 111 million member households watching it since its debut on September 17 (Netflix counts one view if an account watches at least two minutes of a show or ‘a movie). The streamer’s second-largest series, “Bridgerton,” was watched by 82 million members in its first month.
Netflix is investing heavily in the show’s home country, South Korea, pledging $ 500 million to the region this year, according to Variety.
But at nine episodes, “Squid Game” cost Netflix around $ 2.4 million per episode, much less than some of the company’s other hit shows.
“Stranger Things” and “The Crown” cost $ 8 million and $ 10 million per episode respectively, Variety reported in 2017. For comparison, season three of “Stranger Things” is the sixth-biggest launch of Netflix and no season of “The Crown” is in the top 10 (although season four won this year’s Emmy for Best Drama Series).
At Disney +, Marvel shows like “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” have movie-sized awards, costing “up to $ 25 million per episode,” the Hollywood Reporter wrote in 2019. The first season of “Star” Wars series “The Mandalorian” was budgeted at $ 15 million per episode, according to THR, which would cost the entire eight-episode season at $ 120 million.
Tech giants like Apple and Amazon have also dropped heaps of money to grow their streaming businesses. Amazon is spending $ 465 million on the first season of its upcoming “Lord of the Rings” television series, according to THR, which includes the $ 250 million it spent on the rights.
“The Morning Show” cost Apple $ 300 million for two seasons, according to several media, including Bloomberg and THR ($ 15 million per episode for 20 episodes, tied with the show “Star Wars”). The show’s executive producer Mimi Leder pushed back that figure in an interview with Insider ahead of Apple TV + ‘s 2019 debut, but did not reveal any figures.
“The Lord of the Rings” (Amazon Prime Video) – $ 465 million for the first season (including $ 250 million for the rights to the series)
“WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (Disney +) – $ 25 million per episode
“The Mandalorian” (Disney +) – $ 15 million per episode
“The Morning Show” (Apple TV +) – $ 15 million per episode
“The Crown” (Netflix) – $ 10 million per episode
“Stranger Things” (Netflix) – $ 8 million per episode
“Squid Game” – $ 2.4 million per episode ($ 21.4 million for nine episodes)
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