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DramaFever shuts down: Why was K-drama streaming service closed by WarnerMedia?

DramaFever logo
DramaFever was one of the biggest K-drama streaming sites in the U.S. prior to closing in 2018.

DramaFever, the streaming site known for streaming Korean content, Chinese content, and Latin telenovelas, has been shut down.

Its shuttering went into effect immediately on Tuesday, October 16. Many viewers, especially those who subscribed to DramaFever’s premium service, were surprised when they tried to log on.

Instead of their queue of shows they wanted to watch, they were treated to a very somber “thank you” page.

DramaFever left a thank you page on their website.
DramaFever officially closed on Tuesday, October 16. The staff left a “thank you” to fans on their front page.

What was the reason WarnerMedia shut down DramaFever?

DramaFever’s sudden shut-down left many of its viewers saddened. It also left them asking one question. Why? WarnerMedia provided an answer to that question in an official statement on DramaFever’s demise.

“Today, Warner Bros. Digital Networks will be closing its DramaFever OTT service due to business reasons and in light of the rapidly changing marketplace for K-drama content, a staple of the service’s programming.

Warner Bros. Digital Labs, which encompasses more than two-thirds of the DramaFever workforce, will continue operating, serving as the tech engine behind many of WBDN’s operations.”

In more simplistic terms, it sounds like DramaFever was closed because attaining new K-dramas for the streaming service became too competitive to the point it ended up being too expensive.

According to NBC News, they report that a source familiar with DramaFever made it known that the licensing costs for U.S. distribution of K-dramas have rapidly increased over the years thanks to larger streaming services like Netflix and Amazon bidding up. Before, a series would cost $800,000 for license to stream. Now it can cost up to $1 million.

Where can K-drama fans get their K-drama fix?

With DramaFever gone, what are the remaining streaming sites recognized for their selection of not only K-dramas but Asian dramas in general? The two that many may already know about are Rakuten Viki and Kocowa. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime now also have a decent selection of K-dramas for viewing too.

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