Warner Bros. to Acquire DramaFever, SVOD Service Specializing in Importing Global Programming to U.S.
Acquisition Will Help Studio Build New OTT Capabilities and Further Connect with Audiences
BURBANK, Calif.(23 Feb 2016)
Warner Bros., a Time Warner Company, has signed an agreement to acquire DramaFever, a U.S.-based company that operates subscription and on-demand video services, including its flagship DramaFever channel, which offers hundreds of Korean television and film dramas, as well as programming from other countries, to subscribers in the U.S. and around the world.
DramaFever joins Time Warner’s company-wide efforts to reach audiences directly, including the recent acquisition of iStreamPlanet and the launch of SVOD services with HBO NOW in the U.S., and, in partnership with Tencent, Hollywood VIP in China. DramaFever has a strong and growing subscriber base of diverse millennials and plurals that fits well with the company’s plans to enhance its relationship with that audience.
DramaFever’s experience in creating and running SVOD services targeted at niche audiences, including for third-parties, brings critical expertise, which will be vital to Warner Bros. as it explores various OTT scenarios and establishes more direct connections with its audiences.
“This is a great fit for Warner Bros.,” said Craig Hunegs, President, Business and Strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group. “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’s co-founders Bak and Park will continue to oversee the company and report to Hunegs.
“Warner Bros. is truly the ideal home for us,” said Seung Bak, co-founder and CEO, DramaFever. “Combining our deep media sensibilities and experience in developing online video destinations with Warner’s vast library and production expertise will provide an unlimited number of opportunities to create the next generation of OTT services and Internet TV brands.”
DramaFever, while wholly owned by Warner Bros., will continue to operate under that consumer-facing brand and be based in New York.
DramaFever was launched in 2009 with 10 Korean drama series. The service continues to expand rapidly and has become the leading online destination for the best TV shows and movies from around the world. Today, DramaFever offers hundreds of series, variety shows, films and kids programs, in multiple languages, and is available in more than 20 countries globally and growing.
Warner Bros. is acquiring DramaFever from SoftBank. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016.