One of Japan’s biggest telecommunications companies, SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. (SIMI), just announced its acquisition of DramaFever, a streaming video-on-demand website which specializes in international television shows and movies .
Founded in 2009 by Seung Bak and Suk Park (primarily as an easy way for individuals to find and watch Korean television dramas), New York-based DramaFever quickly moved from startup to capital-infused online video business. The site raised over $12 million in funding from such media and financial giants as AMC Networks, MK Capital, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, and the SoftBank Group itself.
“In five short years since going live, DramaFever has built an impressive internet-based streaming video business operating at scale,” said Nikesh Arora, Vice Chairman of SoftBank Corp. and CEO of SIMI, in the release. “Seung Bak and Suk Park have a proven business model in a dynamic industry, and we look forward to helping them bring their highly popular video content to an even larger global audience.”
DramaFever Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Suk Park, added, “This is a triumphant day for our content partners who have demonstrated that engaging stories and characters transcend languages and borders. It is also a great day for our viewers, who can continue to expect DramaFever to bring them the best series and movies from around the world. With the support of SoftBank, we will be further empowered to curate the content that our increasingly global audience of young, passionate viewers loves.”
Bak and Park’s SVOD site boasts a library of 700 global titles and 15,000 English-subtitled episodes, many of which are available same-day or next-day, from over 70 broadcasters from Europe, Asia, and the Americas. DramaFever even co-produces its own series and syndicates portions of its content library to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and iTunes, with a total reach of more than 20 million unique viewers a month.
Though terms of the acquisition weren’t released, the agreement positions both Softbank and DramaFever for many more opportunities to grow (and profit from) the site’s vast and growing international video empire.