We have a new Korean drama streaming site that just recently launched called KOCOWA. It’s set to become a big player in the international streaming market, and it looks like it could change a few things. So here’s what you need to know about this new site and how it might effect you:
What is it & where is it available?
KOCOWA is the new streaming platform coming directly from the big 3 Korean broadcasters: KBS, SBS, and MBC. It is currently available in parts of North and South America.
How much does it cost?
There are a variety of plans available. The standard ones include a monthly plan for $5.99 and a yearly discounted plan for $69.99.
Why should you care?
The fact that KOCOWA comes directly from the big 3 broadcasters means there is a high likelihood that this will effect the content available on the other big streaming sites like DramaFever and Viki.
Many of us had already noticed fewer dramas being licensed on these sites, but this last round there was a very noticeable decrease in offerings with KOCOWA appearing to have exclusive rights to several dramas. It remains to be seen just how many dramas will continue to be licensed to platforms like DramaFever and Viki from the big 3 networks.
But if you still want to watch cable dramas from tvN, JTBC, and OCN, DramaFever and Viki should still have decent access to these dramas.
With the recent decreases in Korean drama availability, there has also been an uptick in offerings of Chinese and Taiwanese dramas. This trend will likely continue as they will need to fill in the gaps left by the big 3 networks.
So how do I feel about this change?
Well, I don’t love it. In recent years, drama availability had already become pretty well split between DramaFever and Viki to the point where you really needed to have both. Adding a third streaming service will continue to divide the offerings, and it certainly looks like having all three will be a necessity for an avid kdrama fan (like me!).
Only time will tell just how much this new service will effect drama availability on DramaFever and Viki in the Americas. We will all just have to hope for the best!
UPDATE 8/14/17: Viki has now launched a new subscription option called Viki Pass Plus that includes access to KOCOWA content. More details can be found here.
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