Crunchyroll Expands Beyond Anime with New Korean Channel (Exclusive)

First move from SVOD service since Chernin Group took stake last December

Subscription VOD service Crunchyroll is expanding beyond anime, launching a new channel focused on Korean TV drama series.

The new over-the-top video channel, KDrama, is the first major move Crunchyroll has made since the Chernin Group took a majority stake in the company last December. While Chernin  indicated its intent to take the company into new genres, the expansion plan was put in motion before the investment, estimated at less than $100 million, was made.

KDrama launched in beta Tuesday exclusively to existing Crunchyroll subscribers in North America but will be made available to new subs at a later time to be determined. That could mean adopting the same offeirng as Crunchyroll, which is a combination of free ad-supported content as well as a subscription component that also includes discounted e-commerce options related to the programming.

But instead of streaming translated anime licensed from Japanese TV networks minutes after they air, KDrama plucks thousands of hours from Korean broadcasters KBS, MBC, SBS and CJ E&M. The hope is that the content proves as exportable as anime, which Crunchyroll has sold into 160 countries and counting via branded website and apps. KDrama is already available in the iOs and Android stores.

“Korean culture and content is starting to get to the same mainstream levels as anime has in the past, which made it  ripe for a premium content offering,” said Crunchyroll CEO/founder Kun Gao.

Gao says there’s no specific plans in place for more channel launches but they are exploring options. “We’ve always had aspirations to replicate the anime model,” he said. “The next step is identifying what other pockets there are of passionate, engaging fans to super-serve?”

Chernin Group’s assets include Chernin Entertainment, which produces feature films and TV programs; a majority stake in Hong Kong-based media and entertainment company CA Media; and several strategic investments in digital media companies, which have included Pandora, Fullscreen, Base79, MiTú, Tumblr, Flipboard and Scopely.

More Digital

  • Netflix Signs Deal with Producer Kim

    Netflix Signs First-Look Deal With Producer Kim Magnusson for Nordic Movies (EXCLUSIVE)

    Subscription VOD service Crunchyroll is expanding beyond anime, launching a new channel focused on Korean TV drama series. The new over-the-top video channel, KDrama, is the first major move Crunchyroll has made since the Chernin Group took a majority stake in the company last December. While Chernin  indicated its intent to take the company into […]

  • EMI Music Publishing logo

    Sony to Buy Additional 60% Stake in EMI Music Publishing for $2.3 Billion

    Subscription VOD service Crunchyroll is expanding beyond anime, launching a new channel focused on Korean TV drama series. The new over-the-top video channel, KDrama, is the first major move Crunchyroll has made since the Chernin Group took a majority stake in the company last December. While Chernin  indicated its intent to take the company into […]

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    Subscription VOD service Crunchyroll is expanding beyond anime, launching a new channel focused on Korean TV drama series. The new over-the-top video channel, KDrama, is the first major move Crunchyroll has made since the Chernin Group took a majority stake in the company last December. While Chernin  indicated its intent to take the company into […]

  • Mark Zuckerberg Congressional Testimony Media

    How to Watch Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's EU Testimony

    Subscription VOD service Crunchyroll is expanding beyond anime, launching a new channel focused on Korean TV drama series. The new over-the-top video channel, KDrama, is the first major move Crunchyroll has made since the Chernin Group took a majority stake in the company last December. While Chernin  indicated its intent to take the company into […]

  • Vernon Sanders Amazon

    Amazon Studios Names NBC Vet Vernon Sanders Co-Head of TV

    Subscription VOD service Crunchyroll is expanding beyond anime, launching a new channel focused on Korean TV drama series. The new over-the-top video channel, KDrama, is the first major move Crunchyroll has made since the Chernin Group took a majority stake in the company last December. While Chernin  indicated its intent to take the company into […]

  • Dwayne Johnson & Dany Garcia

    Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia Invest in Atom Tickets (EXCLUSIVE)

    Subscription VOD service Crunchyroll is expanding beyond anime, launching a new channel focused on Korean TV drama series. The new over-the-top video channel, KDrama, is the first major move Crunchyroll has made since the Chernin Group took a majority stake in the company last December. While Chernin  indicated its intent to take the company into […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content