Last Thursday, I was invited to attend the launch party for DramaFever, a new online video start-up focusing on fully licensed Asian dramas. In their own words:
DramaFever will be starting off with over 50 Korean Dramas, adding Chinese and Japanese dramas later in 2009. All our videos are legally licensed, subtitled and streaming in high def. Viewers can watch for free with a few ads per episode. Later on we plan to offer an ad-free subscription model.
I sat down and talked with Seung Bak and Suk Park of DramaFever, as they elaborated some more on the site. You can read more, after the jump.
Brian: What initiated the development of DramaFever?
Suk: We noticed that a lot of people in were watching Asian programs, particularly Korean dramas, through illegal channels. So we wanted to legally license the content and create a unique experience without any copyright infringement issues.
Seung: And just to chime in on that, there’s clear evidence that there is a demand for this content here in the US but there’s no destination site where you could go, without the hassle and everything comes out. There’s quite a bit of ‘drama’ fans in this country… but the options that they have are illegal sites where for the most part, the experience is pretty horrendous. We looked at it like, “Why don’t we create a place where we provide the infrastructure [for video programming] that is easy, high quality and enjoyable to the end user.”
Suk: We’re starting with the Korean dramas because of the immense popularity they have. Our plans for expansion go beyond the dramas, and into movies and music.
Brian: How important is it for DramaFever to expand its user base beyond Asian Americans?
Seung: It’s interesting you say that because at the onset, we thought that would be a huge challenge. We thought our users would primarily be Koreans, some Chinese perhaps. However, we created a survey with our beta user base, and we were shocked by how diverse our viewers were! It’s about 45% non-Asian, in fact our Korean dramas we have more Blacks and Hispanics, as a group, than Korean [viewers].
Suk: One thing we noticed is that we have a large female demographic. So we plan on focusing on bringing in more guys.
Brian: How broad will the content be? Any plans for comedies? Sports?
Seung: It’s all in the plan!
Suk: Coming soon will be music, movies, everything… [Live] Sports is a little challenging, but we’ll see!
For more on DramaFever, visit their site.