There is such a thing as a good problem, and it’s what Netflix happens to be facing right now with Squid Game: too many people are watching the hit Korean drama. So many, in fact, that a South Korean internet provider is suing Netflix for using too much bandwidth due to traffic surges stemming from mega-streamer. SK Broadband is demanding that the platform pay up for all the maintenance costs due to the explosive streaming numbers.
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This news comes after a Seoul court stated that Netflix should “reasonably” offer up payment to the internet service provider for the bountiful network usage, per Reuters. A handful of South Korean lawmakers have spoken out against content providers (like Netflix) who don’t fess up the cash to pay for network usage even though they generate a mass of traffic.
Netflix has stated that they will review SK Broadband’s claim. In the meantime, they plan on having an open dialogue with the provider to explore ways to ensure customers do not face delays with their network.
Squid Game‘s popularity has highlighted Netflix’s status as the country’s second-largest traffic generator, coming in right after YouTube. The two are the only ones that do not pay any network usage fees, while other sites like Amazon, Apple and Facebook assist.
As of September 2021, Netflix’s data traffic with SK Broadband jumped 24 times from May 2018. Thanks to the success of Korean productions like Squid Game and D.P., Netflix now processes around 1.2 trillion bits of data per second. In 2020 alone, SK estimated that the streamer owed around 27.2 billion won ($22.9 million).
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Firing back against the suit, Netflix added in a statement that they had contributed to the creation of around 16,000 jobs in South Korea, which have stemmed from around 770 billion won in investments. In total, the streaming giant says they’ve had an economic effect of about 5.6 trillion won.
Squid Game was released on Netflix two weeks ago on Sept. 17 and has fast become one of the streamer’s top performers of all time. The mind-bending puzzle series pits a group of down-on-their-luck adults against one another in a handful of child’s games, where they must compete to the death to win a massive cash prize. At the moment, Squid Game is set to overtake Bridgerton as Netflix’s most popular show of all time.
Squid Game is a South Korean survival drama television series written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk exclusively for Netflix. In the nine-episode series, 456 people are invited into a mysterious elimination game based on popular kids’ games for a chance to win billions of dollars. However, the cost of losing is your life. Released on September 17, it has quickly become one of the most popular new shows this fall. Read on to learn how to stream Squid Game.
You can subscribe to any of the plans above and watch Squid Game on Netflix through the Netflix Website with your web browser. You can also sign up and watch Netflix by downloading the Netflix App to any of the following supported devices:
More About Squid Game
There is little doubt there has been a steady rise in popularity for Korean thrillers and horror. Squid Game is one of several originals to come to Netflix and the first to break into the top 10 most-watched television shows on Netflix globally. With a 100% fresh critical reception on Rotten Tomatoes, it is easily one of the biggest breakout hits so far this fall. Fitting into the popularity of survival dramas, and tapping into the extremes of very real financial hardship in today’s capitalist societies, it is a timely allegory for the present day–if a terrifying one.
Best streaming service of 2021:
Find out how all of the top streaming contenders — Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Paramount Plus and Peacock measure up in terms of shows, movies, features and price.
HBO Max is a streaming subscription service that offers a wide variety of TV shows and movies on-demand.
The service offers up to five viewer profiles, with tons of curated selections for adults and kids, the option to download content and the ability to stream on many devices.
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Here is everything you need to know about HBO Max.
Sign up for a subscription by going to HBO Max’s website. The service is available on Amazon’s app store, Apple’s app store, Google Play and Samsung TV, as well as most internet and digital providers. You can watch the streaming service from most devices, such as PS4, Xbox One, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV. A comprehensive list can be found here. One notable and popular streaming device you can’t watch from is Roku, which is in a stalemate with HBO Max.
If you have young ones or you’re young at heart, the Disney Plus streaming service is packed with content for you. In addition to original shows like The Mandalorian, Loki, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Disney Plus is also home to Marvel movies and the Star Wars franchise.
Disney Plus found a strong foothold during last year’s lockdowns for big-screen releases, too. At first, it started streaming already-released movies months earlier than planned, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Frozen 2 and Pixar’s Onward. Later it sped up streaming releases of brand-new movies, like the film adaptation of young adult novel Artemis Fowl and the live-action film version of the mega hit musical Hamilton.
The service has kept it up as well, putting brand new movies on the platform and behind a paywall. The live-action remake of Mulan arrived last year, and was available to stream at the same time it hit theaters for $30 (it’s now available for free). Marvel’s Black Widow is also coming to Disney Plus the same day it hits theaters this month for an extra $30 charge.
There’s also the nostalgia factor: My watchlist is almost entirely Disney Channel Original Movies from the late ’90s and early 2000s. Of course, there’s classic Disney content too, from original Mickey Mouse cartoons to vaulted films like Aladdin, The Jungle Book and Cinderella.
After the seven-day free trial, Disney Plus costs $8 a month. There’s also an option to bundle Disney Plus with Hulu and ESPN.
If you subscribe to Amazon Prime for savings on the e-commerce site — $13 a month, or $6.49 per month for students — you also get access to Prime Video, Amazon’s streaming service. The service has new movies to rent or buy, and you can watch a number of movies and shows for free, so long as they have the little Prime tag on the corner of the icon. You can also subscribe to Prime Video without the e-commerce savings for $9 a month.
If you’re a movie fan, Prime Video might be the right choice for you: Amazon’s platform has three times as many movies as Netflix does, one study found. Not all of them are major blockbusters, but it is an extensive catalog.
As with Hulu, you can buy add-on channels for Prime Video such as HBO and Starz. You can also find programs by searching a channel like BET or Boomerang. Sometimes, even if a show requires an add-on, you can usually watch a season or two for free on Prime. I like Prime Video because it typically has films that are more off the beaten path in addition to mainstream new releases. Plus, there are quality original shows, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Man in the High Castle, as well as original movies like The Big Sick.
Peacock, the streaming service from NBCUniversal, is a bit different from the others on this list. While, like many of the streaming services, it has a tiled interface and a big-name network behind it, it also includes live news and sports, new original series and a large back catalog of TV shows and movies. Many of the titles are available to watch for free, making it somewhat similar to a free streaming service like Tubi or Roku Channels.
Peacock’s free tier offers tons of ad-supported content, with the option to upgrade to ad-supported premium ($5 a month) or ad-free premium plus ($10 a month) if you want to expand the library even further. You’ll find shows, movies, news, live sports and skit-style clips, with standouts including The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, some Premier League soccer matches, and more. You’ll also get episodes of current NBC shows like This is Us the week after they air on the free tier, or the day after on the premium tier.
In addition, for shows like The Office or Parks and Recreation, you’ll only get access to a few episodes. You’ll need to upgrade to premium to get full access.
Since launch, Peacock has added the few features it was lacking like Roku and Amazon Fire TV support, profiles for different users and some mobile downloads. But it still doesn’t offer mobile downloads for its cheaper tiers or 4K HDR streaming — both of which are available on the paid competition like Netflix and Disney Plus.
Peacock probably won’t replace Netflix or Hulu, at least in the short term. But it’s a nice free option for finding some older movies and shows you might have missed (or want to watch again), and keeping up with current NBC shows, as long as you don’t mind watching a few ads.
Netflix is a veteran streaming service and essentially introduced us to the modern binge-watch, as it houses iconic shows (old and new) like Supernatural, Glee, Gilmore Girls and The West Wing. It’s easy to put on an old favorite and let it play, whether you’re actively watching or not.
Netflix has also become known for its Originals — movies, shows and multiple documentaries, many of which have received both popular and critical acclaim. Think about the hype surrounding The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton, Mindhunter and Stranger Things. Netflix has even won during Oscar season with Roma and My Octopus Teacher.
New seasons of shows typically come out all at once, and after you blow through them in one afternoon, you have to wait months or even years for the next one. I would keep Netflix for the binge-watching and for those fascinating investigative docuseries such as The Keepers and The Pharmacist. While you’re waiting for your favorite show to come back, Netflix mixes up its content every month, releasing new titles every week.
You can choose between basic ($9 per month), standard ($14) and premium ($18) plans.
For $6 a month (with ads), Hulu is a perfect complement and counterpoint to Netflix. This channel lineup has a huge variety of familiar shows from networks like ABC, Fox and NBC that you can watch soon after they air (unlike on Netflix), as well as a growing catalog of its own critically acclaimed original series like The Handmaid’s Tale and PEN15. If you have $6 per month to spare and don’t mind trading a few ads for a wealth of TV options, Hulu is a no-brainer. You’ve also got the option to upgrade to a no-ads plan for $12 a month, or add on live TV streaming for $65 a month for a full cable replacement.
Paramount Plus the streaming service formerly known as CBS All Access — brings together live news and sports with on-demand shows and movies, including originals, leaning on parent company ViacomCBS’ brands like popular channels CBS, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Paramount Network, plus its Paramount Pictures movie studio.
The service has a ton of content: 30,000 episodes of TV and 2,500 movies, plus 36 original series arriving this year, for either $6 a month (with ads) or $10 a month (ad-free). Two of its biggest draws from its CBS All Access days include the Star Trek catalog and new originals like Star Trek: Discovery and Picard, and the series The Good Fight. Upcoming originals include two Yellowstone spinoffs (though Yellowstone itself is on rival Peacock), a new Star Trek series and a series based on Halo, and new movies like Mission: Impossible 7 arriving 45 days after theaters. But right now, its main value lies in nostalgia: You can watch just about every old Nickelodeon show, Comedy Central stand-up special and popular series ranging from Frasier and Cheers to Spongebob Squarepants and Young Sheldon.
At $5 a month, Apple TV Plus is the lowest-priced premium, ad-free streaming service available, with high-end features like 4K resolution, HDR and mobile downloads. However, it’s also the only service on this list that includes only original content, and no back catalog of shows or movies to explore. While it now has more than 50 exclusive, big-budget original programming shows and movies, only a few have captured widespread attention (looking at you, Ted Lasso and The Morning Show, and potentially Foundation, arriving in September). And that library is far smaller than any of the others on this list.
The app is also confusing, since it’s housed in the larger Apple TV app with other content. However, Apple TV Plus has one big advantage: There are a lot of ways to get it for free, at least for a while (like when you buy a new Apple device or subscribe to the Apple One bundle.