DramaFever, a video streaming service for Korean, Chinese, and Japanese shows founded in 2009, has unfortunately closed down on Oct. 16, 2018.
Operated under Warner Bros. Digital Networks in 2016, the website shut down due to various business reasons and “in light of the rapidly changing marketplace for K-drama content, a staple of the service’s programming.” With frantic fans not knowing of this information beforehand, the cancellation only caught them by surprise as they were suddenly logged out during the middle of an episode from one of the multiple series on the network.
DramaFever issued a parting message to notify its viewers on the devastating news, and that the company would like “to take this time to extend our thanks and gratitude to you, our loyal subscribers.”
Home to approximately 13,000 episodes and managed in 12 countries, they offered multiple monthly ad-free subscriptions starting at as little as $4.99. According to Digiday, the company had more than 400,000 people who paid the amount until the goodbye note was released.
Personally, I found DramaFever extremely convenient as they regularly updated new episodes and kept everything on the app and website organized. On days when I was free from schoolwork, I spent most of my time binge watching shows directly from the website without any trouble. Even though DramaFever was not my first choice when it came to watching tearful hour long episodes, I was caught off guard when I received the notice that they shut down. I was not too devoted to the website, but knowing that they made a decision to end it very much upsetted me.
As I was reading through comments on social media, I was shocked to find out that regardless of fantastic statistics and a thriving fanbase, the provider of hundreds of dramas did not have what it takes to stand side by side with competing “tech giants” like Amazon and Netflix. I understand why it came to this result and hope for only for the best with other drama streaming networks.
DramaFever will be giving out refunds and subscribers will be hearing from the team in the next couple of days.