Welcome To The New Audience For Drakor Pandemic Force

The final episode of The World of the Married set a new record. An ending that is not so special but realistic enough to be accepted. Still continued VOI's signature series, "Korean Drama Invasion". After a peek at "Behind the Scenes of The World of the Married: Controversy and Pressure of South Korea's Conservative Society", we now look at the front of the screen. How this JTBC drakor shot so successfully and attracted many new audiences. What does this have to do with a pandemic?

The final episode of The World of the Married set an extraordinary rating record with 28.4 percent. Reported by naver.com, Sunday, May 17, this is a record that surpasses the episode 15 rating, which is 24.4 percent. The complete news about the record in the last episode of The World of the Married can be seen in the following article: The World of the Married's Last Episode Print the Highest Rating of Korean Drama.

An extraordinary note indeed for The World of the Married. He is now the most watched drama in South Korean television network history. The World of the Married is indeed interesting. But perhaps many agree, the drama adapted from the British series Doctor Foster is not the best drakor. Some think that all the achievements of The World of the Married are a mere pandemic blessing.

The global survey held by Statista noted that the corona virus pandemic has made media consumption of internet users around the world soar. The survey, which was held in March 2020, noted that watching streaming movies, such as Netflix, increased 27 percent globally. Streaming video and movies second highest after news viewing during the pandemic: 36 percent.

Statista took samples from several countries in each regional area. From that data, the country with the highest increase in streaming movie viewers is the Philippines, at 36 percent. The second position is China (31%) and Italy (27%). This means that the highest percentage increase in the number of streaming video or film viewers is in the Southeast Asia region, the region where Indonesia is located.

In direct proportion to the Statista survey, movie streaming sites like Netflix are gaining blessings during the pandemic. In a letter addressed to shareholders, Netflix reports that it has attracted 15.77 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2020.

Currently, the streaming site from the United States has a total of 182.9 million subscribers globally. The achievement was up 22.8 percent from the beginning of the year. "Our subscriber growth has been temporarily boosted due to the isolation policy," wrote Netflix.

As is well known, Netflix has been expanding internationally since 2007. One of the success tips for this platform to penetrate the international market is to diversify content in every region of the world.

Hyejung Ju in an article published in the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication (2020) explains, since starting its expansion, Netflix has presented a variety of content from Asia, such as China, Japan and India. In addition, there is also content from Latin America and Europe - starting from Spain, Germany, France and Italy.

However, in 2017, their international TV catalog began to focus on British, Spanish and Korean. This efficiency may be done as a step to optimize the curation of the most potential content.

Initially, streaming Korean dramas in the United States was accessed through video-on-demand sites such as mysoju.tv, DramaCrazy.net, and allkpop.com. Soon, the big players in streaming TV service providers, such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, including Netflix, began to rely on distributors and licensing aggregators of Asian TV shows including Korea to enhance their international content.

The pandemic blessing of The World of the Married

Currently, Drakor is indeed enlivening the Netflix space. At the end of April, Crash Landing On You and Itaewon Class (2020) perched in the top ten most-watched films on Netflix Singapore, as quoted by the Straits Times.

Meanwhile, Netflix's Asian competitor Viu also reported significant audience growth during the novel coronavirus outbreak. There was an increase in the number of active users from 35 to 40 percent. In addition, the average viewing time has also increased by up to 50 percent per person, as explained Viu Country Manager Varun Mehta to Medcom.

Illustration (Ilham Amin / VOI)

On the Viu site, it seems that the drama The World of the Married also dominates. The drama, whose original title was A World of Married Couple, drew 55 percent of Viu's audience. They have faithfully followed the journey of Ji Sun Woo's story with Lee Tae Oh since its first launch on March 27.

In addition, other Korean drama series that are among the most watched are When The Weather Is Fine (2020) and Meow and The Secret Boy (2020). Even so, this third title is called the K-Drama with the worst rating. Apart from Netflix and Viu, there are still several Drakor streaming sites that are no less popular. Among them, Kocowa, OnDemandKorea and Viki.

Welcome, new audience

Video streaming activity in Indonesia has also increased since most people moved at home during the pandemic. As quoted by Antara, one of the cellular telecommunication operators in Indonesia, 3, noted that since the issuance of the appeal for physical restrictions, data traffic for streaming activities increased by 193 percent.

The increase occurred in seven movie streaming services, including Netflix, Viu, Amazon Prime Video, and a special streaming service for Drakor: DrakorID. All the dissemination of drama content has also influenced the growth of new Korean audiences in Indonesia. We interviewed several of them.

First is Ranie, a 25 year old private worker in Jakarta. Ranie is not a new audience. His only favorite drama is Descendants of The Sun, the title of the 2016 release. "It's funny, really. Sadly, I got it compared to the soap opera Indosiar," he told VOI. Since the pandemic, he admitted that he watches Drakor almost every day. The intensity increased sharply.

During the Large-Scale Social Restriction (PSBB), for example, Ranie admitted that she had completed four drakor series titles. As we all know, in one series title alone, there are dozens of episodes with an average duration of more than one hour. Can you imagine how many hours of time he had spent on film marathons during this pandemic?

The new audience we were able to ask was Ranto (30). This graphic designer at an advertising company admits that the pandemic has made him accustomed to sharing his shows with his wife. And The World of the Married became a title that led him to more other drakor titles. "But apparently it wasn't that bad. I just got out of it for me to finally follow it," said Ratno via text message.

Even so, Ranto doesn't really enjoy South Korean drama series. However, from The World of the Married - the drama series he watched, Ranto found quality South Korean film titles for him.

This fan of Richard Linklater's works (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Boyhood, and Dazed and Confused) even has a favorite film title: Miracle in Cell No. 7. "I don't have the series until now. And I've just watched a little bit. It's the film I'm looking for a lot," said Ratno.

In Ranto's eyes, the South Korean drama works that he has participated in have the power of emotional closeness. In fact, the themes taken are not always general. Like Miracle in Cell No. 7, for example. Tells the story of a father who has a mental disorder and has to go to prison for trying to realize his son's dream of having a bag.

"The premise is like that. But the plot is made interesting. This is one of the best I've seen," said Ranto.

Follow the Writing in this edition of the Series: North Korean Film Industry Built on the Propaganda and Kidnapping of South Korean Director Shin Sang-ok