If you were like me, you often had to scour through pages of YouTube search results to find the soap opera, or drama, you were looking for with subtitles in your language. And if you were lucky, it wouldn’t just be a video prompting you to go to another sketchy website. That’s where DramaFever came in: a safe, clean streaming site that let you watch all the Korean dramas you wanted, in high definition and with subtitles. Now, however, Warner Bros., which bought the company in 2016, is shutting it down for good.
Warner Bros. released an official statement on the matter on October 16, 2018:
Today, Warner Bros. Digital Networks will be closing its DramaFever OTT service due to business reasons and in light of the rapidly changing marketplace for K-drama content, a staple of the service’s programming. Warner Bros. Digital Labs, which encompasses more than two-thirds of the DramaFever workforce, will continue operating, serving as the tech engine behind many of WBDN’s operations.
Founded in 2009, the New York-based DramaFever worked much like Crunchyroll does, a streaming site with a subscription service option that uploaded popular dramas with subtitles on a consistent basis and in high definition. However, as the years have gone by, licensing costs for Korean media has increased exponentially, especially with Netflix and Amazon Prime putting down higher and higher bids for popular titles.
DramaFever will be refunding current subscribers as they shut down operations this month, and the current titles held by the site may be going to other streaming services own by Warner, like HBO.
More so than access to great shows, the end of DramaFever also marks the end of an era for many of us who scoured the web for the best content to sate our drama cravings. You will be missed, DramaFever, by nerds everywhere.