WarnerMedia is closing DramaFever put up AT&T acquisition2 min read

DramaFever, one of many two main Korean drama streaming companies on the earth, has shut down.

Whereas DramaFever had proven indicators of slow-down within the UK, with fewer new titles made obtainable up to now two years, the streamer had nonetheless proven ambition to roll-out into new markets reminiscent of India and the remainder of Europe. It was up to now obtainable in North America, South America, Oceania and the UK.

Nonetheless, the rising licensing value for Okay-dramas had change into a serious difficulty, 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 hundreds 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 yr 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 30 days, vs. $4.99), DramaFever was already put beneath stress 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 payment aggressively, even providing a $0.99 month-to-month payment for worldwide subscribers in 2015, after which placing up episodes totally free 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 might be pooling content material from the previous Warner Digital Networks’ ventures for its upcoming direct-to-consumer (D2C) providing, it is vitally unlikely shoppers will get to look at Korean dramas on there. The departure of executives answerable for Korean content material acquisitions, reminiscent of Tim Lee, would affirm that.



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