Warner Bros. Buys DramaFever

Warner Bros. has inked a deal to acquire DramaFever, the U.S.-based OTT subscription VOD service that offers a large library of Korean TV shows and films, as well as programming from other countries.

Warner Bros. is acquiring DramaFever from SoftBank, which bought the OTT service in October 2014. DramaFever, founded in 2009, will continue to be led by its co-founders, Seung Bak and Suk Park and be based in New York. Bak and Park will report to Craig Hunegs, president, business and strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group, said in a statement

The deal, expected to close in Q2 2016, enters play as units within Time Warner continue to expand their focus on OTT technologies and services, including HBO Now, the stand-alone OTT premium service launched last year, and iStreamPlanet, acquired last year by Turner Broadcasting  System.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Warner Bros. said its latest buy will bring in valuable expertise and content and help it to connect with millennials and niche audiences.

“This is a great fit for Warner Bros.,” Hunegs said, in a statement. “With Warner Bros.’ resources, we will rapidly enhance and grow the DramaFever channel. As importantly, we are bringing to Warner Bros. a great and talented team, led by Seung Bak and Suk Park, that will move quickly with our own distribution and creative teams to create and build more OTT services.”

DramaFever sells a set of premium-level subscriptions, including an ad-supported “Rookie” tier for 99 cents per month, an ad-free, streaming-only  “Idol” package for $4.99 per month, and “Superstar,” a service with no ads and the ability to download and watch titles offline for $9.99 per month. DramaFever has not revealed subscriber figures. 

DramaFever supports several platforms, including Google Chromecast, iOS and  Android mobile devices, Web browsers, Apple TV, and the Xbox 360.