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DramaFever Streaming Service Shuts Down

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Service for Asian dramas, Latin American telenovelas launched in 2009

Warner Bros. shut down its DramaFever streaming service on Tuesday. Entertainment news website Variety reported that the closure of the service will result in 20% of the company's 110 employees being laid off, but Warner Bros. also stated that employees from Warner Bros. Digital Labs, "which encompasses more than two-thirds of the DramaFever workforce," will continue to work.

Variety cited a source familiar with DramaFever, who said that licensing costs for Korean dramas have risen to about US$1 million per season, driven by rivaling bids from Netflix and Amazon.

AT&T recently acquired Time Warner in June and formed the new media content company WarnerMedia. Variety reported that, at the time of the acquisition, AT&T stated that it will, "consolidating resources from sub-scale D2C [direct-to-consumer] efforts." More recently in August, AT&T acquired Otter Media, the digital holding company that operates Crunchyroll's parent company Ellation, among other video services. It folded Otter Media into WarnerMedia.

DramaFever was founded in 2009. Japanese telecommunications conglomerate SoftBank acquired the company in 2014, and Warner Bros. acquired the company from SoftBank in 2016. The service streamed Korean and other Asian dramas, as well as Latin American telenovelas, subtitled in multiple languages. These shows include live-action adaptations of various manga series, including Hayate the Combat Butler, Absolute Boyfriend, and Skip Beat!. DramaFever co-produced Naeil's Cantabile, the South Korean drama adaptation of Nodame Cantabile.

Sources: DramaFever website, Variety (Todd Spangler)

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