DramaFever was a video streaming website owned by Warner Bros. that offered on-demand streaming video of documentaries, movies, and TV shows with subtitles. DramaFever's content offering was both ad-supported for regular users and available in high definition for premium subscribers.
|Type of business||Subsidiary|
|Founded||6 August 2009|
|Dissolved||16 October 2018|
|Key people||Seung Bak, founder & CEO|
Suk Park, founder & President
|Industry||Video on demand|
|Parent||Warner Bros. (2016–2018)|
|Registration||Free & Subscription|
DramaFever was available on a variety of devices including iPad, iPhone, Android, and Roku. The company's library of international programming was one of the largest licensed U.S. collections available online, in both English and Spanish, and comprised over 15,000 episodes from 70 content partners across 12 countries. More recently, the company branched out into co-producing television dramas, co-producing the 2013 Korean drama The Heirs and the 2014 drama Naeil's Cantabile. On February 23, 2016, it became a subsidiary of Warner Bros. DramaFever content was available on their own platform as well as via the VRV streaming service. Warner Bros. shut down the service and company on October 16, 2018. Its content was available via VRV until November 1, 2018.
Built upon the feedback of drama fans, many of whom previously frequented pirated sites for Korean drama, the original site was in beta before going live on August 6, 2009. The founders raised approximately $12 million USD from investors before the website was acquired by SoftBank in October 2014 for approximately $100 million USD. Softbank sold the site to Warner Bros in mid-2016.
DramaFever was shut down by Warner Bros. on October 16, 2018, with no advance notice to its subscribers. All that remained on its website was the following message on its main page:
Thank you for nine great years
For nine years, DramaFever offered a place for streaming the best Korean, Chinese and Japanese dramas on-demand, straight to your device. We appreciate the passion of our fans and it's been a privilege to deliver you this content. While this decision is difficult, there are a variety of business reasons that have led to this conclusion. We appreciate each and every one of our fans and their passion for the content DramaFever was able to bring into your lives. We'd like to take this time to extend our thanks and gratitude to you, our loyal subscribers. We'll be issuing refunds as applicable, and subscribers will receive an email from us with details in the coming days.
The DramaFever Team
In 2013, DramaFever reported that over 80% of its estimated 3.5 million monthly viewers are non-Asian, and that the majority are young, urban and educated. As of May 2014, newly added Spanish and Latin American content was expected to increase viewership among Hispanic users. As of May 2015, the website had around 8 million monthly active users. Females made up 65% of viewers, most significantly in the 18 to 34 age range.
In 2012, DramaFever sponsored The Supply Cup 2012, a charity soccer tournament hosted by YouTube personalities to benefit the non-profit organization The Supply, which helps build secondary schools in African slums to better provide greater possibilities for the next generation.
DramaFever also made curated selections from its collection available on Netflix and iTunes. After their first week in the iTunes store, two popular Korean romantic comedies, "Boys Over Flowers" and "Heartstrings", broke the iTunes Top 200.
DramaFever held licensing deals with all three of the major Korean TV networks: Seoul Broadcasting System, Korean Broadcasting System, and Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation. It was the first website to work with all three South Korean content providers legally, and its partners represented over 60 of the top TV networks and production companies from China, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Argentina and Spain. Other licensing partners include Artear, CCTV, Imagina, rtve, Sanlih E-Television, Shanghai Media Group and Telefe among others.
Consumers could choose between a free or premium subscription. Registered subscribers could watch limited videos for free with commercials while premium subscribers watched without interruptions and in high definition. Users could register on the site or with their Facebook login.
A premium subscription cost $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year in the United States. Content from Asia was available to the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Content from Latin America and Spain was only available to U.S. and Canada users due to international licensing agreements.
DramaFever reportedly had over 400,000 paying subscribers by the time it was shut down in October 2018.
On December 13, 2010, DramaFever was awarded the Korean Business of the Year Award by the Korean Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), Korean Cultural Center and Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for its work showcasing Korean content in the U.S.
In February 2013, DramaFever launched the first "Annual DramaFever Awards" honoring films, dramas, actors and actresses of the year through subscriber voting. The ceremony for the 3rd Annual DramaFever Awards was sponsored by Toyota and was held at the Hudson Theatre in New York City in February 2015. The 4th Annual DramaFever Awards in 2016 received a total of 1, 889, 384 votes from users and The 5th one received a total of 3,239,506 international votes.
The announcement of the winners in each category was accompanied by videos including fragments of the work of the nominees and a final segment showing the winner thanking for the award with a brief speech.
- http://www.dramafever.com/company/media.html[permanent dead link]
- "Do you support my device?". DramaFever. December 4, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2014.[dead link]
- J.T. Quigley (May 22, 2015). "Post-acquistion [sic], DramaFever has more muscle to spread Asian entertainment to the West". Tech In Asia. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
- "Dramafever Set To Premiere First Original Co-production The Heirs". Hancinema. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
- "DramaFever co-produces Tomorrow's Cantabile with KBS". DramaFever. 10 October 2014. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-16.
- Sun, Rebecca (10 October 2014). "DramaFever Unveils Its Second Korean Co-Production". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-10-16.
- "Warner Bros. acquires video-on-demand service DramaFever". Los Angeles Times. 2016-02-23. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
- Son, Angela; Z, Nancy (2019-01-01). "Top 10 Korean Entertainment News of 2018". whatakdrama. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
- Lopez, Matt (October 16, 2018). "WarnerMedia Shuts Down DramaFever Streaming Service". The Wrap.
- "DramaFever Launch Party". Hyphen Magazine. August 7, 2009. Archived from the original on August 13, 2009.
- "Warner Bros. Acquires DramaFever, Plans to Launch Other OTT Services". Variety. February 23, 2016.
- "Warner Bros. to Acquire Korean Soap Opera Site DramaFever". The Wall Street Journal. February 23, 2016.
- "Thank you for nine great years". www.dramafever.com. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
- "DramaFever Media Kit" (PDF). DramaFever. February 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- "First-ever DigiFest begins September 1". Asia Pacific Arts. 2011-08-31. Archived from the original on 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- Korean TV dramas find new fans, outlets with online video, DramaFever Web site delivers shows via Hulu Wailin Wong, Chicago Tribune, May 17, 2010
- "Entertainment Heats Up Online for 50 Million U.S. Hispanics". PRNewswire. October 8, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- SBS dramas at DramaFever K-popped, October 11, 2009.
- Korean TV Hulu site for U.S. New TeeVee, June 6, 2009.
- DramaFever: About Us
- "DramaFever Premium". DramaFever Support Center. Retrieved 5 January 2015.[dead link]
- DramaFever FAQ DramaFever
- "'This is a big boy's game now': DramaFever is a casualty of the big-money OTT war - Digiday". Digiday. 2018-10-19. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
- 2010 DARI Awards Honor Executives & Companies for Contributions toward Advancing Korean Content in the U.S. Archived December 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine KOCCA Official Website, December 14, 2010.
- "DramaFever 2012 Awards". www.dramafever.com. Retrieved 2018-06-07.[permanent dead link]
- "Announcing the winners of the Third Annual DramaFever Awards!". DramaFever. Archived from the original on 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
- "4th Annual DramaFever Awards". DramaFever.