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Binge Watching and the Role of Social Media Virality towards promoting Netflix’s Squid Game

Ahmed, Wasim; Fenton, Alex; Hardey, Mariann; Das, Ronnie

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Wasim Ahmed

Alex Fenton

Ronnie Das


Management literature has extensively studied viral marketing in the last decade; however, there is a lack of research in understanding network structures and the role of influencers within popular cultural consumption, such as on-demand digital media and binge-watching. In this article, we investigate the role of social media in popularising the East Asian dystopian cultural drama Squid Game. We studied this phenomenon by analyzing social network structures, dynamics and influencer characteristics that transformed Squid Game into a popular global digital cultural consumption sensation. Stemming from the foundational theories of popular culture binge-watching, network theory, and the social media echo chamber effect; we demonstrate how careful ‘seeding’ and ‘broadcasting’ behaviour adopted by Netflix and key influencers helped ‘reciprocal merging’ of creative media content within the broader social media space. Our study found that 13,727 Twitter users were tweeting or mentioned on the day show was released, with a combined follower count of over 853,000,000. Our research findings further present the characteristic of individual group-based echo chambers and their role in value co-creation towards expanding the network boundary through e-WOM. This phenomenon led to the show’s unprecedented popularity amongst a global audience within a short period. Contributions of our work expand viral marketing and echo chamber concepts into the binge-watching and popular digital culture realm, where the interplay between dramatized Asian and Western dystopian social norms provided the very fabric of user-led promotion and value co-creation.


Ahmed, W., Fenton, A., Hardey, M., & Das, R. (2022). Binge Watching and the Role of Social Media Virality towards promoting Netflix’s Squid Game. IIM Kozhikode Society & Management Review, 11(2), 222-234.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 9, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 23, 2022
Publication Date Jul 1, 2022
Deposit Date Feb 10, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 23, 2022
Journal IIM Kozhikode Society And Management Review
Print ISSN 2277-9752
Electronic ISSN 2321-029X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 222-234
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (Corrected) (955 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Corrected This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (

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