DramaFever, the K-drama video streaming website owned by Warner Bros., has officially been shut down.
On Tuesday, the company announced that the service, which specialized in Korean dramas and Asian programming, will no longer be operating due to business reasons.
“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.” ㅡ DramaFever
As of October 16, the website has formally shut down after nine years of providing Korean, Chinese and Japanese drama streaming services.
DramaFever, which was established in 2009 and acquired by Warner Bros. in 2016 from Japan’s SoftBank Group, offered free streaming services as well as a $4.99/month ad-free option on over 13,000 episodes from 60 content partners across 12 countries and had an estimated 20 million viewers.
The content, which ranged from various Korean dramas to Asian TV shows and movies, was translated into English, Spanish and Portuguese.
According to a source, the licensing costs for Korean dramas have been rapidly increasing, especially due to larger SVOD players such as Netflix and Amazon. A show that used to cost $800,000 would now cost approximately $1 million per season.
DramaFever’s shutdown, however, is reportedly the result of the formation of WarnerMedia after Time Warner was acquired by AT&T. WarnerMedia’s CEO announced last week that the company would be creating a broad subscription-streaming entertainment service and therefore, the company would be “consolidating resources from sub-scale D2C efforts.”
Today WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey announced plans to launch a new direct-to-consumer streaming service that will bring WarnerMedia content straight to audiences in Q4 2019: https://t.co/a9IhajiWZv pic.twitter.com/qECRVM3QgQ
— WarnerMedia (@WarnerMediaGrp) October 11, 2018