DramaFever is Dead — Alternatives for Asian Dramas/Movies

DramaFever is Dead — Alternatives for Asian Dramas/Movies

If  you haven’t heard by now, DramaFever is officially dead as of October 16, 2018. “Minty, what does that have to do with gaming or otaku stuff?” Like I mentioned in many previous posts, many Asian dramas and movies are based on manga/manhwa/webtoons and sometimes games. So this affects fans of live action adaptations. So me. Q~Q That’s one reason why I haven’t been able to continue my live action posts for the time being.

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THE SHUT DOWN AND DRAMA

Anyway, DramaFever was suddenly shut down without warning on October 16th. DramaFever was probably the largest online streaming site for Asian dramas and movies. Think of it as CrunchyRoll for Asian dramas and movies; as it did simulcasts as well. It definitely had a hand in popularizing Asian dramas and movies. For 9 years, it was probably the best place to legally watch many different Asian dramas and movies from Korea, China, Taiwan, and Japan. Warner Bros had acquired DramaFever. However, on October 16th news broke out from Variety that Warner Bros would be shutting down DramaFever immediately. I remember seeing the news that day. Freaking out, and looking up if it was true. There was no warning from DramaFever or Warner Bros. Nor was there any word from either of them that day. The news was only breaking out from various news articles. They were not kidding about the “immediate” part of the shut down. I read the news probably not even after an hour after Variety published it. A few hours (probably around 2), DramaFever was shut down. The page was replaced with a message just citing that it was shut down for “business reasons”.  As expected, many were furious and heartbroken; Including me.  There also seems to be more to this drama. I’ve read some DramaFever writers weren’t paid yet, and found out about the shut down like the rest of us. The shut down came after Warner Bros announcing future plans to start a streaming service similar to Netflix. While Warner Bros cited staggering costs for the rights of the various titles, many have speculated the shut down is more related to the future streaming service. Some believe that Warner Bros wanted the DramaFever team to work on their streaming services. Who knows? All I know is that it was pretty unprofessional. There had been no notice, no warning, and no word from either DramaFever or Warner Bros. It wasn’t until the next day or two that there was a statement from either of them about the shut down. This also came shortly after everyone had been charged for their subscriptions. There wasn’t talk about refunds or how it would be dealt with until a few days later. I still haven’t received my refund… Many are also upset that this shut down happened in the middle of the current drama season. Y’all, it’s like if CrunchyRoll decided to suddenly shut down without warning in the middle of your current anime season… I’m forever salty and bitter at you Warner Bros.

ALTERNATIVES

As you can tell, drama fans freaked out. Where could we watch our dramas?? (Legally anyway…) So for those who don’t want to live the risky life of a pirate on the digital seas, here are some alternatives. The following have picked up many of the titles left abandoned by DramaFever’s shut down. Some of the previously DramaFever exclusive titles were picked up by Viki, Kocowa, and OnDemand Korea.

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Viki [LINK]
Viki is owned by Rakuten. It’s definitely a great alternative. DramaFever and Viki were always my go to for dramas. It’s also been doing simulcasts forever as well. I had a premium pass for both. I will admit, I did enjoy more of the drama selections on DramaFever though… Still, Viki is wonderful. I’ve been a part of Viki since 2009? I got the old school badge haha. More on that in a bit. The beauty with Viki is that it does have more variety, as it’s more global. It’s basically run by fans. Subtitles are made by viewers/fans. They have shows from many, many different countries. It is free. However, expect ads. You can get a Viki pass so you can skip said ads. There are two tiers: Standard and Premium. Premium will give you access to exclusive content. Viki also has a partnership with Kocowa (more on that later), so the Premium Pass includes Kocowa’s content as well. However, let me tell you a tip. You can get the Viki Premium Pass for FREE. Although, it does require a bit of work. You can become something called a “Qualified Contributor”, or QC. Simply contribute by segmenting or making subtitles. 500 contributions for every 6 months will get you a Viki Premium Pass. Sounds hard, but it’s pretty simple. This is what I’ve been doing for years. So I’ve been fortunate to enjoy the Viki Premium Pass benefits for free. Sometimes they’ll send you gifts too. 500 sounds alot but honestly I can get 100 segments and subs from 20 minutes of a drama episode.

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Kocowa [LINK]

Kocowa is a joint venture streaming service brought to you by Korea’s 3 big broadcasting stations: KBS (Korean Broadcasting System), MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Company), and SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System). Again, you can watch vids for free. However, expect ads. You can bypass ads by purchasing a subscription. Much of Kocowa’s content is also included in Viki though. Except for the Kocowa exclusive titles though. They have daily, montly, and hourly passes. Daily pass is $0.99, monthly is $6.99, and their annual pass is $69.99. Yes, simulcast.

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OnDemand Korea [LINK]

Another new-ish streaming service. Again, you can pay different subscriptions to bypass ads. Their monthly plan is like $6.99. Yes, simulcasts.

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VRV [LINK]

VRV includes several channels like CrunchyRoll. It also included DramaFever. Last I checked, it still had DramaFever’s content up there. However, I don’t know how long that will last.
EDIT: Welp, it’s gone now. So disregard this one…

It’s true that Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have some Asian dramas and movies. However, these are mostly older titles. Many of them were from DramaFever. It also has nothing to do with the simulcasted titles. Viki and the other services are great, but people were upset about the loss of DramaFever only exclusive titles. Still, not all hope is lost. These are some great alternatives. As I said before Viki, Kocowa, and OnDemand Korea are also picking up many of the titles and simulcasting titles that were abandoned by DramaFever’s shut down. I’ll update this post if I find any updates or other sources. Until then, I hope this was a bit helpful. Enjoy friends.

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