Netflix is a powerhouse for Foreign-language content

23 November, 2022

Streaming platforms have been relying more and more on foreign language content. Worldwide hits like La Casa de Papel, Squid Game, and Dark have been very successful in the US, paving the way for non-English shows in a market that historically has been hard to penetrate. In the third quarter of 2022, shows in languages other than English were responsible for 8.0% of the demand for streaming originals in the US. That’s an impressive growth when we compare it with the share of demand in the first quarter of 2020 when it was less than 6.0%.

Netflix is the streaming platform that has been most successful when it comes to foreign language content. That platform dominates the top 10 foreign language streaming originals list, with 8 out of 10 shows. That includes the top 2 shows, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and Dark. The former show is one of Netflix’s top releases of the third quarter and part of the Cyberpunk universe, and the latter show is the most successful German streaming original so far, being highly in-demand even almost two years after the last season's release. La Casa de Papel and Squid Game, two of the most well-known Netflix shows also appear in the ranking as 5th and 6th places.

Only two shows managed to break Netflix's dominance and find a place among the top 10 foreign language streaming originals. Disney+’s Summer Time Rendering, a Japanese animation, or Anime, and Apple TV+’s Pachinko, a Korean language life story. Those shows are also an example of the high demand for Korean and Japanese language shows. 7 out of the 10 shows in that ranking are in one of these languages.


The two charts in this article show the importance of foreign language content for Netflix in the US. Of the main SVOD platforms, Netflix has been the one with the higher share of demand for foreign-language streaming originals over the last years, with the exception of a brief period at the end of 2020, when Amazon Prime Video took the lead momentarily. As of the third quarter of 2022, foreign-language shows make up 10.8% of the demand for Netflix’s originals. That’s almost twice the demand share for that kind of show on Amazon Prime Video, 5.4%.

While the demand share for foreign language shows has been dropping on platforms like Amazon Prime Video and  Hulu, it has been surging on Disney+ and Apple TV+. Until the second quarter of 2021, the demand share for foreign-language Disney+ originals was less than 2.0%. One year later, in the second quarter of 2022, that demand share peaked at 5.8%. That growth is the direct outcome of the release of successful shows like Summer Time Rendering and Star Wars: Visions, two Japanese language animations. In the case of Apple TV+, the demand share is lower but the growth is still imprecise, from 0.5% in the last quarter of 2021 to 2.9% in  2022 Q3, thanks mostly to Pachinko.


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