The drama that would have been as popular as “Narco-Saints” if it was released on Netflix
Regrets that “Big Bet” can only be seen by a limited number of viewers on the OTT platform Disney+ are pouring out.
Viewers recently pointed out that the most regrettable thing about the series “Big Bet” is that there will be a limit to the expansion of viewers because it was introduced through Disney+, an OTT platform that is struggling in the Korean drama/movie market.
Some even said that if the drama were released as an original series on Netflix, it would have been as popular as the hit work “Narco-Saints”. With similar genres, if “Narco-Saints” tells about chasing the drug king, “Big Bet” centers around a casino king.
According to people in the industry on February 3rd, “Big Bet” had drawn keen attention even before its release because it was a work by director Kang Yoon Sung of the hit movie “The Outlaws”, Choi Min Sik’s first drama in 25 years and Son Seok Gu’s comeback after becoming a rising star with “My Liberation Notes”.
Disney+, which is not only behind Netflix but also Korean OTT platforms, such as TVing, in Korea, has created a masterpiece aiming to imprint its presence in the Korean market by investing 20 billion won in the production of “Big Bet”.
After Season 1 of the series was revealed, viewers’ reactions and reviews were not bad. In particular, Disney+ earned a new viewing time record for original Korean content on its platform in the first week of the drama release in December last year.
However, its popularity was not as high as expected and even showed signs of decline as the drama progressed. Analysts believe that it was due to the slow development of the story as the drama released only one episode a week. This means “Big Bet” failed to take advantage of the OTT platform and highlight the full-fledged conflict between actors.
Above all, the biggest reason why “Big Bet” cannot become a global hit like Netflix’s “Narco-Saints”. It’s not a matter of its content but the position of its platform in the Korean market.
According to a data analysis platform, Disney+ attracted 1.95 million monthly active users (MAU) in December last year when “Big Bet” was released. Last month, it surpassed 2 million MAU. However, during the same period, Netflix’s MAU was about 12.57 million, six times more than Disney+. This is the clearest comparison of brand power between these two OTT platforms in Korea.
According to the Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI), Netflix accounted for 44% of the total viewing hours among 5 OTTs in Korea from December 2021 to April 2022. Disney+ ranked last with only 2.6%. Moreover, Netflix produced 52.7% of Korean original contents, while Disney+ recorded only 3.2%.
In order to promote the entire service, interesting content is needed but platform improvement is also important. Attention is focused on whether Disney+, which is not very influential in Korea, will be able to overcome the limitations of its platform with “Big Bet”.
“Big Bet” will return with Season 2 on February 15th.