There are voices of concern in the film and drama industry that actors’ appearance fees are skyrocketing unreasonably due to Netflix and that the domestic drama market is about to be dominated by this OTT platform.
Accordingly, Netflix pays leading actors 2-3 times higher than the appearance fees that domestic drama companies can offer. An official said, “As actors moved to Netflix, their appearance fees have doubled”, adding “I thought actors would receive 200 million won per episode for some special projects, but I was very surprised to know that the number was actually 500 million”. At a recent meeting hosted by the Korean Drama Production Association, an official said, “In reality, some leading actors even demand 1 billion won per episode. It’s time to find a solution”.
Starting with Part 2 of “Gyeongseong Creature Season 1”, Netflix will release “The Bequeathed” and “Badland Hunters” on February 2nd and introduce about 26 movies and dramas this year. Kim Go-eun’s “Two Women” and “When Life Gives You Tangerines”, starring Park Bo-gum and IU, will also premiere on Netflix.
On the other hand, Korean OTT platforms TVING and Wavve are losing all major content to Netflix. In particular, there are only a few dramas in Wavve’s plan for this year.
In the case of TVING, they released 13 original dramas in 2022 but only introduced six projects last year. Wavve made 4 original dramas in 2022 but aired only two works “One Day Off” and “The Deal” last year. As a result, these OTT platforms are expected to show fewer dramas this year.
According to analysts, Netflix has a large number of subscribers so it is possible for them to pay actors more than domestic OTTs can offer. An official working for a Korean OTT service shared, “It is hard for us to afford such high appearance fees because we have fewer subscribers than Netflix”, adding “Therefore, we have no choice but to reduce the number of productions”.
In the competition against Netflix, TVING and Wavve are planning to merge to reduce production costs. If the merging is completed, it will become the second largest OTT platform in Korea with more than 9 million users. Despite that, many people are wondering whether they will be able to win over Netflix as both are suffering big deficits. It is known that production costs of some dramas have surpassed the average level of 40 billion won due to soaring appearance fees.