By Sahil Patel
Crunchyroll, the online video site for anime content, is launching a new streaming service dedicated to Korean programming.
The new service, titled KDrama, is available in beta to all current Crunchyroll subscribers, and will receive a public launch in the coming weeks.
The focus will obviously be on Korean dramas, though Crunchyroll says the service will also offer other types of programming from the country. So far, Crunchyroll has inked deals with multiple broadcast networks in Korea, including KBS, MBC, SBS, and CJ E&M to simulcast their primetime shows. These episodes, which will be available the same day they air in Korea, will feature professionally-done English subtitles. The service also houses “thousands” of hours of new and old titles.
Right now, KDrama is available for free to all Crunchyroll subscribers. Upon its public launch, the service will offer a free, ad-supported option as well as a premium subscription version.
Available online and via apps for iOS and Android devices, KDrama will expand to other platforms at a later date.
The Chernin Group is a majority investor in Crunchyroll. When the investment was made, TCG said it would help continue building out Crunchyroll’s anime-content business, as well as accelerate the company’s plans to expand into other content verticals — the first of which is Korean dramas via KDrama.
Other streaming services that offer Korean programming include DramaFever, which in recent months has began its expansion into content from other international markets as well as its own original programming.