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Netflix Deal Sees Taiwan Content Producers Set to Win Global Audience

Can Taiwanese drama series leverage on global Netflix exposure to compete with Korea's dominance across Asia?

Photo: The Fierce Wife: Taiwan drama goes global. (Xinhua News Agency)
The Fierce Wife: Taiwan drama goes global.
Photo: The Fierce Wife: Taiwan drama goes global. (Xinhua News Agency)
The Fierce Wife: Taiwan drama goes global.

Taiwanese collaborations are said to be on the cards for Netflix, the hugely successful US-based movie and TV streaming media service. With the online media provider formally extending its services to Taiwan earlier this year, it is now believed to be in talks with local companies with regard to commissions, purchases and co-productions in the TV and film spheres.

At present, Netflix subscribers can access a variety of movies and TV shows, both in terms of original productions and bought-in content. A number of its in-house productions – notably House of Cards and Orange is the New Black – have already proved hugely popular across a variety of the global markets. In terms of Asia, Netflix is making substantial headway in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. It has also begun to produce locally sourced content – most notably Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, a sequel to Ang Lee's similarly-titled 2000 smash hit movie.

Currently, Taiwan's growing number of Netflix subscribers can watch up to 600 TV shows or films in line with three different monthly plans. These range in cost from NT$270 (US$8.40) for the basic package to NT$330 for the standard and NT$390 for the premium set-up. The fees depend on whether viewers opt to stream high-definition (HD) or ultra high-definition (Ultra HD) videos, as well as the number of devices licensed to access the service.

In Japan, Netflix is already working with local companies to produce content, which is then shared globally. To date, there has been no confirmation of a similar arrangement being implemented in Taiwan.

Netflix, however, has confirmed that it is to purchase some 20 drama productions from Sanlih E-Television (SETTV), one of Taiwan's leading cable TV networks. These productions include Fated to Love You (aka You're My Destiny) and The Fierce Wife, both of which have already proved hugely popular with Chinese audiences.

With all of these productions expected to be made available to Netflix's global subscriber base, this is seen as a great opportunity for domestically produced Taiwanese dramas to win far wider acceptance. It is hoped that the Netflix deal may see Taiwanese programme-makers begin to emerge as serious competition to the current dominance of Korean-sourced content in many of the Asian markets.

Sylvia Yeh, Taiwan Office

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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