Back when I started to watch K-dramas, the only way most international fans could get their fill was to either watch horrendous video captures on YouTube or risk your computer getting attacked by a plethora of computer viruses on illegal streaming sites. I am thankful for video-on-demand streaming sites that specialize in Korean content. Now, most of you know that I am subscribed to all the major American VOD-streaming sites for Korean content that are legal. Out of all of them, though, I think DramaFever has become the international leader in Korean content.
I know making such a statement is quite brash unless I back it up. Take note I do not work for DramaFever, so I don’t exactly know all the ins and outs, but there are details that stand out in making it the top dog among all.
If I want to utilize recent news to help enforce my view that DramaFever is becoming the global leader in Korean content, look no further than the fact they are co-producing an actual K-drama. Not a web drama, not a mini-series — a full-fledged K-drama. Along with Godin Media, DramaFever is co-producing the first romcom as well as the first K-drama to air on Mondays and Tuesdays by the Orion Cinema Network (OCN), titled My Secret Romance. It will simultaneously air in the United States as well as South Korea, a first for DramaFever too.
However, that is just one of the reasons why I think DramaFever is becoming the global leader in Korean content. Although I can nitpick every little detail I can find, I will stick to two major reasons that truly stand out from the others.
1. DramaFever Seems To Be The Only VOD-Streaming Site Allowed To Stream Replays Of Mnet Programming
Korea’s Music Network, better known as Mnet, is a youth-orientated channel in South Korea, and it concentrates a lot on K-pop. Besides its well-known music competition show M! Countdown, it is also known for probably the biggest and most popular K-pop event in the industry today, the Mnet Asian Music Awards, better known as MAMA.
So far, DramaFever is the only legal VOD-streaming site that is allowed to replay the Mnet Asian Music Awards. I remember back in 2015 when I was able to watch it for the first time, how enamored I was to see Big Bang perform on stage and literally losing myself when I saw 2NE1 reunite though they only performed “Fire” and “I Am The Best.”
One year later, DramaFever was given the rights to play the replay of the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards, the one featuring Twice. I have yet to see it on other legal streaming sites that feature Korean content. True K-pop fans can possibly find streams on non-legal sites that are ripped from YouTube and other video stream social communities, but they are often lacking in quality or have no subtitles.
2. DramaFever Seems To Be The Only VOD-Streaming Site That Streams KCON Related Content
Although DramaFever is probably recognized for really pushing the quality and quantity of K-dramas albeit Asian dramas among Americans, KCON is probably the biggest influence in pushing Hallyu in the United States specifically through their live events. Although K-pop acts, such as 2NE1, have done American tours before, the biggest venues that have the most K-pop acts are always KCON LA and KCON NY.
Unfortunately, not every K-pop fan has the financial means or the time to make the trip to attend one of two KCON venues located in the southwest or northeast of the United States. Realistically, most K-pop fans these days are young. The average age is probably in the mid-20s, while most are still in their teens. As a result, money and time would surely be a problem.
Thankfully, DramaFever comes to the rescue again as they replay the stream of KCON events on their site. Once again, I do not know any other legal VOD-streaming site that concentrates on Korean content that has this permission.
Ultimately, the biggest reason why DramaFever has such a connection with KCON and Mnet is their business relatioship with CJ E&M, the two companies of which KCON and Mnet are subsidiaries. Some may say it is an “unfair advantage” for others, but overall, it is good business.
And so it is known, DramaFever is technically not the best of the best as they still lack in other things. When it comes to Korean movies or attaining exclusive viewership rights, they still have competition. I will even go as far to say that their competition may even be better at times, especially when it comes to K-movies. Still, if DramaFever continues forward in its excellent business practices, they might just clinch in on what currently are their weaknesses. Either that or they can just continue to work on their strengths.
[Featured Image by DramaFever]