DramaFever Seeking Entry on MVPD Platforms

DramaFever, the U.S.-based OTT subscription VoD service that specializes in Korean TV and films and other international fare, said most subs use mobile devices to stream its content, but it’s also seeing the tide rise a bit on TV-connected platforms.

Through the first quarter of 2016, viewing on those platforms has doubled. Overall streaming on TV-connected systems represented about 5% at this time year, but has risen to about 10%.

Additionally, viewing data shows that DramaFever subs view twice as many minutes on TV-connected platforms compared to mobile devices, Tim Lee, director of licensing at DramaFever, said, hopeful that new, high-production movies and series coming exclusively to the service, likeGoblin: The Lonely And Great God, a 16-episode fantasy melodrama, will fit particularly well with that increasing of apps tailored for TV screens.

With that trend in mind, DramaFever has been expanding its reach on TV-connected platforms. Today it supports several, including the Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PS4, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV devices, Samsung and LG smart TVs. An app for Xbox One is on the roadmap for early 2017, Lee said.

Of that TV-connected group, nearly 60% of DramaFever TV-based viewing is on the Roku platform, followed by PlayStation (18%), Samsung Smart TVs (10%), Android TV (5%), Fire TV (3.5%), Xbox 360 (2.5%), LG (1%), and Apple TV (less than 1%).

DramaFever, acquired by Warner Bros. earlier this year, is also in talks to integrate its SVOD service on MVPD set-tops. Comcast’s X1 platform, which today supports Netflix and will soon integrate Sling TV, would seem a logical candidate.

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It also hit on the big screen streaming trend for Black Friday and through Cyber Week, teaming up with Roku on a promo that lets customers get a $25 discount on a DramaFever “Superstar” subscription for a year (normally $100) and a free Roku Streaming Stick.

Lee said DramaFever has seen a lift from the promo, though the company declined to reveal its sub base. However, about 22 million users reach DramaFever’s various Web and social outlets on a given month.

“We sold more in a single week than we have ever in the past,” Lee said.

DramaFever’s app for Roku also recently added a curated, live, ad-free feed that it uses as a subscriber acquisition tool. It also offers that live feed via its Web site.

DramaFever, a service that skews to an ethnically diverse audience of young women (it’s largest group is millennial women in the 18 to 25 age group) is also seeking growth on Amazon Channels, Amazon’s SVOD aggregation service.

That offering, called DramaFever Instant, runs $3.99 per month and offers a subset of the SVOD’s full offering.

Lee said that offering gives a smaller sampling of the service, with the hope that it could give consumers an opportunity to try it out and move up to its main offering.

He said DramaFever’s pleased with the results on Amazon Channels, but acknowledges that they point represent a fragment of the service's overall subscriber base.