Netflix ramps up presence in Taiwan, eyes original content

Netflix joins Taiwan's New Media Entertainment Association, plans to add three Taiwanese dramas

Pili Fantasy: War of Dragons (Source: official website)

Pili Fantasy: War of Dragons (Source: official website)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Netflix on Monday (July 29) decided to become a member of the New Media Entertainment Association (NMEA) in Taiwan, signaling more cooperation with Taiwanese content providers, Business Next reports.

Netflix has been increasing its activity in Taiwan this year. Darren Ong, Netflix's public policy manager in the Asia-Pacific region, recently spoke at the Taiwan Internet Governance Forum 2019, and the streaming-services provider is set to have a booth at the 2019 Anime and Comic Convention beginning in Taipei on Wednesday (Aug. 1).

According to NMEA Chairman Homme Tsai (蔡嘉駿), Netflix began considering joining NMEA after the association introduced Darren Ong to Taiwanese Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) in April. Tsai believes it was NMEA’s capacity to communicate with the government that prompted Netflix to join the association.

Tsai said that Netflix's decision also signals its increasing investment in the over-the-top (OTT) streaming media industry in Taiwan and more cooperation between the streaming giant and local content creators. Business Next points out that diversification and "logloblization," or locality globalization, of content are the company's continuing strategies.

A prime example of "logloblization" was Netflix's purchase of the copyright of the glove puppetry series “Pili Fantasy: War of Dragons” (霹靂英雄戰紀之刀說異數) in 190 countries and translated it into 26 languages. Other well-received Taiwanese original titles on Netflix include “Dear Ex” (誰先愛上他的), “Green Door” (魂囚西門), and “On Children” (你的孩子不是你的孩子).

Tsai said that Netflix’s deployment in the country caims to omes later than its investments in South Korean dramas and Japanese anime, but it has certainly seen potential in Taiwan as well. He called on the government to assist Netflix in building its local team and connecting with content providers to develop the OTT media industry in Taiwan.

Netflix will be launching three new Taiwanese dramas at the end of 2019, including “Nowhere Man” (罪夢者), “Triad Princess” (極道千金), and “The Ghost Bride” (彼岸之嫁). An internal source told Business Next that the ratings for the three dramas will be the reference indicators for Netflix to decide whether to increase investment in Taiwan or not.