You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SoftBank to Acquire Online-Video Startup DramaFever

Japan’s SoftBank Group said it will acquire DramaFever, an Internet video-on-demand player that specializes in international TV shows and movies.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2009, New York-based DramaFever has raised $12 million to date from its investors including AMC Networks, Bertelsmann, MK Capital, SoftBank Ventures, NALA Investments and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen. The company’s board includes founders Seung Bak and Suk Park, along with Ross Levinsohn — the former CEO of Yahoo and Guggenheim Digital Media — and Bret Maxwell, managing general partner of MK Capital.

Deal comes after SoftBank made a $250 million investment in Legendary Entertainment earlier this month, in a pact that could be worth up to $1 billion. The telecommunications and Internet conglomerate also had been in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation for some $3.4 billion.

“In five short years since going live, DramaFever has built an impressive Internet-based streaming video business operating at scale,” Nikesh Arora, vice chairman of SoftBank and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media, said in announcing the deal. “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 provides content from more than 70 major broadcasters and studios throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas, with a lineup of 15,000 episodes from 700 shows available either on a first-run, same-day or next-day basis from the original broadcast. An advertising-free subscription plan is $9.99 per month. DramaFever also syndicates a portion of its library to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and iTunes, with an overall reach of more than 20 million unique monthly viewers.

According to DramaFever, most of its viewers are women 18-24. Roughly 40% of the site’s users are white, 30% are Hispanic, 15% are black and 15% are Asian. Paying subscribers to the service watch an average of 53.9 hours per month on DramaFever — more than Netflix.

Morrison & Foerster LLP acted as legal adviser to the SoftBank Group. The Raine Group LLC acted as financial adviser and Gunderson Dettmer acted as legal adviser to DramaFever.

More Digital

  • APOS: Asia Streamer Hooq Heads for

    APOS: Asia Streamer Hooq Heads for 100 Original Shows

    Asian video streaming service Hooq has committed itself to developing at least 100 original shows and films by the end of this year. They will be produced in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and India, and range in genre terms from horror to comedy and from factual to lifestyle. The company has begun the immediate release [...]

  • APOS: Turner and Tencent Reteam on

    APOS: Turner and Tencent Reteam on Tuzki-Starring 'Second Time'

    Turner Asia Pacific and China’s Tencent are joining forces for “Second Time Around,” a Chinese drama that will air later this year. The series makes use of Tuzki, a Turner owned animated character that has become famous as an emoticon in Tencent’s WeChat universe. Turner is licensing the character and will invest in the series [...]

  • eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    Entertainment One (“eOne”) has tapped Bill Wilson as Senior Vice President Digital Operations and Innovation, Music, the company announced today. Wilson will oversee all aspects of digital strategy across the company’s music business, including label service, talent management, music publishing and live entertainment, according to the announcement.  Wilson will be based in New York City and [...]

  • Jennifer Kaytin Robinson Someone Great

    'Someone Great' Director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson on Reimagining the Rom-Com

    Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, creator of the MTV series “Sweet/Vicious,” recently made her feature debut with “Someone Great,”  now streaming on Netflix. The film follows three friends as they navigate relationships and work in New York City.  Here, the writer-director opens up on reimagining the rom-com, and women changing the face of Hollywood. The three young [...]

  • Hulu-Logo

    Comcast Mulling Sale of Hulu Stake to Disney (Report)

    Comcast is holding talks with Disney to see if they can hammer out a deal to sell Comcast’s one-third stake in Hulu to the Mouse House — which would give Disney full control over Hulu, CNBC reported. The report comes a little over a week after AT&T sold its 9.5% stake in Hulu to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content