“Since 2019, we’ve seen non-English-language viewing in the U.S. increase by 71 percent. In fact, a whopping 97 percent of our U.S. members have chosen to watch at least one non-English title in the last year,” Bajaria said.
As is the case for all of Netflix’s numbers, these are self-reported and not verified by an independent source. Still, even if the streamer’s numbers must be taken with a grain of salt, for those who professionally keep up with the streamer’s output (like yours truly) that data rings true.
Every month, Netflix publishes a list of each original series or movies set to arrive on its streaming service. Increasingly over the past two years, those lists have included content from countries other than the United States. In fact, Netflix’s list of new releases for August 2021 featured 25 international properties (or Netflix’s less Anglo-centric term “local language” properties) versus 30 American productions. And even the “American-ness” of some of those American titles is in question as they include Witcher spinoff anime film Nightmare of the Wolf and Israeli-American series Hit & Run.
It stands to reason that if Netflix continues to seek out local language content, then it is having success with said content. And Netflix’s presentation during TCA offered up the most compelling evidence yet that it is. While Netflix previously reported that Lupin was its most watched series for the first two quarters of 2021, it now confirmed that the show’s 76 million viewers in its first 28 days are still the benchmark for all Netflix series this year.
“I’d like to note that (Lupin) is not just our most popular local-language original, it’s the most popular show we’ve launched on Netflix so far in 2021,” Bajaria said. “That type of success comes from discovering and supporting local creators who have a passion for the story they want to tell.”
Bajaria also mentioned that anime is hugely popular with Netflix subscribers around the world, appearing in Netflix’s top-ten list feature in nearly 100 countries in 2020. As such the streamer is expected to continue its efforts to diversify and expand its anime offerings in the years to come.
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