DramaFever, one of many two main Korean drama streaming companies on this planet, has shut down.
Whereas DramaFever had proven indicators of slow-down within the UK, with fewer new titles made accessible prior to now two years, the streamer had nonetheless proven ambition to roll-out into new markets similar to India and the remainder of Europe. It was to date accessible in North America, South America, Oceania and the UK.
Nevertheless, the rising licensing price for Okay-dramas had grow to be a serious problem, with even unbiased Korean producers simply asking for over $100,000 in minimal ensures (MGs) for the U.S. solely. Different sources additionally declare premium Korean dramas commanding $1 million per season, versus $800 1000’s beforehand. That is notably true within the case of Korean dramas from Korea’s two largest cable channel operators, CJ E&M and jTBC, with whom Netflix closed unique international offers, making DramaFever reliant on Korean public broadcasters’ output, which had not delivered a success for within the final 12 months or two.
With Viki, already the chief in ad-funded Korean drama streaming (DF had an AVOD tier within the U.S.), shifting into ad-free subscription with a extra aggressive worth ($2.99 per thirty days, vs. $4.99), DramaFever was already put underneath strain in its native market, the U.S. Regardless of ex-CEO Seung Bak claiming DramaFever had reached 15 million customers in 2014, it began discounting its subscription charge aggressively, even providing a $0.99 month-to-month charge for worldwide subscribers in 2015, after which placing up episodes without spending a dime on YouTube to drive “new audiences.”
As such, with low advert revenues within the U.S. and challenged subscription revenues globally, it solely took Netflix just a few months to interrupt the camel’s again, all of the extra as public broadcasters KBS and MBC have halted most productions since workers went on strike final September.
Though AT&T introduced it will be pooling content material from the previous Warner Digital Networks’ ventures for its upcoming direct-to-consumer (D2C) providing, it is extremely unlikely customers will get to look at Korean dramas on there. The departure of executives accountable for Korean content material acquisitions, similar to Tim Lee, would verify that.