DramaFever k-Drama Streaming Service Shuts Down Why?
DramaFever, the streaming-video service specializing in Korean dramas and different Asian programming, is shutting down instantly.
Based in 2009, New York-primarily based DramaFever was acquired by Warner Bros. in 2016 from Japan’s SoftBank Group. New York-based mostly DramaFever has operated as a unit of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, which has touted the streaming infrastructure and experience it obtained via the acquisition.
“Right this moment, Warner Bros. Digital Networks might be closing its DramaFever OTT service as a result of enterprise causes and in gentle of the quickly altering market for Ok-drama content material, a staple of the service’s programming,” the corporate mentioned in a press release Tuesday. “Warner Bros. Digital Labs, which encompasses greater than two-thirds of the DramaFever workforce, will proceed working, serving because the tech engine behind lots of WBDN’s operations.”
With the closure of DramaFever, about 20% of the unit’s a hundred and ten workers (or round 22) will likely be laid off. Warner Bros. turned down a request to interview firm execs concerning the shutdown.
Based on a supply acquainted with DramaFever, licensing prices for U.S. distribution commanded by prime Ok-dramas have quickly elevated lately, bid up by bigger SVOD gamers like Netflix and Amazon — making the style-centered over-the-prime video enterprise unsustainable. A present that used to price $800,000 to license for streaming now goes for round $1 million per season, in accordance with the supply.
A message posted on the DramaFever web site Tuesday stated partly, “Thanks for 9 nice years. As of October sixteen, DramaFever has been shut down… Whereas this choice is tough, there are a number of enterprise causes which have led to this conclusion.”
The DramaFever website’s message additionally stated, “We’ll be issuing refunds as relevant, and subscribers will obtain an e-mail from us with particulars within the coming days.”
The transfer to shutter DramaFever comes after AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner and the formation of WarnerMedia. Final week, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey mentioned the corporate would launch a broad subscription-streaming leisure service anchored by HBO that will pull in content material from different elements of Time Warner. As a part of launching the brand new WarnerMedia-large service, AT&T mentioned it might be “consolidating sources from sub-scale D2C [direct-to-consumer] efforts,” which evidently included the phasing out of DramaFever.
DramaFever supplied an advert-free premium choice that began at $four.ninety nine per thirty days, touting a lineup of over thirteen,000 episodes from 60 content material companions throughout 12 nations. The content material — which spanned Okay-dramas, different Asian TV exhibits and flicks, and Latin American telenovelas — additionally has been out there to observe on a free, advert-supported foundation. DramaFever’s programming was translated into English, Spanish and Portuguese and accessible on the net, cellular and related-TV units.
Titles on the service have included common Korean rom-com “Boys Over Flowers,” in addition to “Jealousy Incarnate,” “The Greatest Hit,” “Go Ho’s Starry Night time,” “Coronary heart Sign,” “Hospital Ship,” “Longing Coronary heart,” “Lacking 9,” “Thumping Spike,” “Goblin: The Lonely and Nice God,” “Heirs,” “My Sassy Lady,” “Cinderella and 4 Knights,” “Princess Brokers,” “My Love From One other Star” and “Emergency Couple.”
Warner Bros. Digital Labs is overseen by GM Patty Hirsch, who joined the corporate earlier this yr from Time Inc., as Seung Bak, one in all DramaFever’s co-founders and former head of WB Digital Labs, left the corporate. In April, Rena Liu was named GM of DramaFever, reporting to Hirsch, after serving as director of technique and operations for Warner Bros. Digital Labs; Liu’s standing on the firm is unclear.