What makes great content? Learning from Squid Game’s success

What can we learn from one of the most high-profile and record-breaking pieces of content from the past year?

The author(s)

  • Jack Maloney Media Development
  • Ffion Thomas Media Development
  • Nick Cook Media Development
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The past 12 months have been unprecedented for both audiences and television. Buoyed by lockdown and other international events, a multitude of records have been broken.

Since the release of Squid Game on Netflix in September 2021, it has taken the world by storm, topping the Netflix charts in 90 countries while amassing over 132 million views worldwide.

Ipsos iris data shows there was an increase of around 50% in both the total and average minutes watched by Netflix users over the two weekends following Squid Game’s release compared to the two weekends prior. We also saw Netflix’s total audience increase by 10% from 3.9 million to 4.3 million (although these statistics were measured across the whole of Netflix’s platform and so can’t all be attributed to Squid Game itself).

Squid Game’s success in part comes from how it has placed itself at the apex of several popular current trends and how it has appealed to youth culture. There is no exact recipe of success, however, Squid Game has been able to capitalise on current tastes when it comes to content (across both video, gaming and social media) as well as audience behaviour.

In the past year, a record £4bn was reportedly spent on making TV shows in the UK, and big budget production (inc. film) in the UK has doubled 2020 to a whopping £6bn this year. 

Demand and investment in great content is stronger than ever before. But what makes great content? What can we learn from one of the most high-profile and record-breaking pieces of content from the past year?

The author(s)

  • Jack Maloney Media Development
  • Ffion Thomas Media Development
  • Nick Cook Media Development

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