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The Squid Arms Of Netflix. the popularity Of Squid Game drives Netflix Stock To New Heights

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If this year’s October can be defined by a pop culture reference, one thing readily comes to mind and here’s the thing – it’s not characteristically out of place in a month best known for Halloween.

So whether you’ve watched it or not, there is no denying that the Korean viral hit series Squid Game is taking the world by storm right now – and Netflix is reaping the rewards.

The survival thriller, which features children’s games filled with bloody twists, gory scenes, and scream-worthy moments, is currently the most popular show in more than 90 countries. 

Given its ongoing track record, the nine-episode production is well on its way to becoming the most popular series in the history of the streaming giant – surpassing The Witcher, Lupin, and Bridgerton.

Following this unprecedented feat, it comes as no surprise that Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) stocks are also enjoying record-breaking numbers as we speak – and it has analysts excited.

The Squid Game Pull

Squid Game is a sensational worldwide hit that has viewers gripping the edge of their seats in anticipation of what’s next to come, right from the first challenge of Red Light, Green Light, down to the last unexpected moment.

Why? Cue in word of mouth via social media –  the ubiquitous platform where you virtually see and hear everyone talking about it, raving about it, ranting about it, or just straight-up asking questions about it without any answers.

The thing with curiosity is that once it’s piqued, it’s even harder to ignore than simply dismissing something because you don’t like it – and Squid Game absolutely hit that nail on the head.

What game will be played next? Who will get eliminated? What will happen to everyone’s most hated character? The questions are endless, and nothing beats finding out for yourself by watching the show – even if you’re not a fan of thrillers in the first place.

Netflix Stocks by the Numbers

When Squid Game premiered last September 17,  Netflix shares closed at $589.35 on the same date. 

Over the weeks and as the Korean series started to rake in the numbers in terms of viewership and clicks on other social media platforms like TikTok, NFLX shares have also mirrored impressive jumps.

NFLX closed at $613.15 by the first week of October, surged to a record-high of $634.81 by October 5, and closed again at $632.66 by the second week of the month.

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On October 7, J.P. Morgan analyst Dough Anmuth reiterated a December 2022 price target of $705 for Netflix, noting that Squid Game can help strengthen up the numbers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

In fact, YipitData estimated that global Netflix downloads had reached their highest levels in 2021, driven by the Asia-Pacific region, to be specific.

The success of Squid Game, along with a slew of other foreign hits like “La Casa de Papel” from Spain, “Sex Education” from the U.K., and “Lupin” from France, couldn’t have come at a better time for the streaming platform. 

This year, Netflix recorded its weakest first half of the year since 2013, which was coupled with growing investor doubts about its future. 

According to Parrot Analytics, the company’s share of global demand for original series has also hit a new low in the third quarter of the year, despite still topping the list compared to HBO Max, Hulu, Apple TV+, Disney+, and Amazon.

Netflix’s competitive advantage in the U.S. has also dramatically waned over the years, making its user growth abroad – which recently surged due to Squid Game – even more significant. 

Thus, while the global viewership insights provided by the hit Korean series helped, Netflix has already been amping up its foreign film lineup to drive user growth and target untapped customer base outside the U.S.

Case in point – Netflix is devoting more and more of its budget to shows in India, South Korea, Japan, and Nigeria. While the U.S. will still get the biggest share of total dollar spent, it will get a smaller share in terms of new dollar spent. 

Netflix Has More Up Its Sleeves

While it is true that Squid Game is Netflix’s biggest viral hit to date, the streaming giant has more up its sleeve for the last quarter of the year.

A slew of strong content is expected to debut in the last three months of 2021, with Netflix definitely getting the hang of what it takes to deliver quality content that hits the right spot. 

Anmuth expects new episodes from the hit shows The Witcher, Emily in Paris, Money Heist, and Cobra Kai, along with films Don’t Look Up, Red Notice, and The Unforgivable to drive subscriber growth.

Squid Game Season 2? 

The global success of Squid Game caught even Netflix by surprise, but they are certainly embracing the moment and are expected to pull out all the stops to make a second season happen. 

While that is something to look forward to in the near future, it might be a while before we’ll see everyone’s favourite survival thriller again.

Writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk expressed that he has no well-developed plans for Squid Game 2 as of yet and that it is “quite tiring just thinking about it”. 

And although he didn’t rule out a second season, the director’s stance is quite understandable given the intensity of the first season, with him explaining that if a follow-up is to happen, he would need help. 

At this point, we don’t see any reason why Netflix would not do everything in their power to help the director of its history-making show bring another season to life. It’s just a matter now of waiting when that will happen.

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