The deal is described as a three-year strategic partnership, highlighted by a multi-year content production and distribution agreement, that begins from 2020. Studio Dragon’s parent company, CJ ENM, also has the right to sell a 4.99% equity stake in the producer to Netflix.
It is understood that Studio Dragon will produce specific new series for Netflix. The streaming service, which already offers five series from the company, will also be able to acquire distribution rights to other Studio Dragon titles.
Established in 2016, Studio Dragon already has a roster of hits including “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God,” “The Legend of the Blue Sea,” “Signal” and “Stranger.” It is now expanding its influence outside Korea through joint planning, production and consulting with partners overseas.
“CJ ENM and Studio Dragon represent the gold standard in Korean entertainment, and we are excited and honored to work with them,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, in a statement. “This partnership with CJ ENM and Studio Dragon demonstrates our commitment to Korean entertainment.”
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Korean series, which are known for their high production values, quality screenwriting and good-looking stars, have become a source of competition for global and regional streaming services operating in Asia. Although many shows have been labeled as originals by the streamers, in many cases Korean rights have been handled by local broadcasters.
Netflix has a large roster of Korean series from Studio Dragon and other providers. Its shows from Studio Dragon include “Stranger,” “Mr. Sunshine,” “Memories of Alhambra,” “Romance Is a Bonus Book,” and “Arthdal Chronicles.”
“Today’s announcement is a recognition that Korean storytelling and production capabilities are beloved by global audiences and reaffirms the content creation prowess of both CJ ENM and Studio Dragon,” said Jinnie Choi, CEO of Studio Dragon.
“As we have continuously focused on strengthening borderless content and expanding global distribution, the partnership with Netflix will introduce Korean content to global audiences, while providing new experiences and values,” said Minheoi Heo, CEO of CJ ENM.