Which is better Viki or DramaFever

The Korean Wave: How Korean TV Shows Are Conquering the Internet

The television habits of Germans are changing. While big entertainment shows like “Wetten dass… ?!” or “DSDS” are losing their market share, more and more viewers are consuming their favorite series from the Internet. Most of them still come from the USA, but that could change soon too because successful dramas from Korea are becoming more and more popular in Germany.

The Germans often suffer from melancholy: a half full glass is half empty for them, the German athletes "only" achieved 6th place in the medal table at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and they will all be again at the upcoming soccer World Cup in Brazil be better virtual national coach and have something to complain about when the German national team does not bring the world championship title to Germany.

It is no different with “Wetten dass… ?!”, the ZDF entertainment flagship. Every viewer feels like a better producer, presenter and program director at the same time. They always have something to complain about. “A show suffers from burnout” was the headline of Spiegel Online. Many look to the moderator to blame and overlook the changing trend in German television viewing habits. While the number of viewers for “Wetten dass… ?!” or “DSDS” is falling bit by bit, more and more TV consumers are turning to streaming services. Streaming services are databases that make videos such as TV series or movies available on the Internet. In contrast to the download, the data is not saved on the computer, but displayed directly and then discarded. The most famous services are called Watchever, Love film(Recently called "Prime Instant Video"; from Amazon), Max cathedralsor Video load. It is expected to be the American leader Netflixwill soon announce its start in Germany. Then the new trend could accelerate further.

Streaming services are on the rise

The advantage of streaming services is easy to enumerate: You can watch your favorite series or films whenever you want. You don't have to wait a week for the next episode. There is usually a much larger offer and the exchange with like-minded fans is much easier thanks to the comment functions and connection to social networks.

Another trend can already be seen in the USA. Great service providers like Huluand Netflixwork with the company specializing in Asian and Latin American content Dramafevertogether. Was co-founded Dramafever von Suk Park, who grew up in Spain and studied in the USA. Because he traveled a lot for work, he discovered that in many Asian countries, Korean dramas of poor quality were illegally offered over the Internet. He went to South Korea with his friend Seung Bak and cleaned the handles of the main broadcasters. With persuasion and skill, they were able to win the broadcasters over and so they founded the company Dramafever in New York. The provider now offers over 13,000 episodes from 12 countries. Will shortly Dramafever also start in Europe. The company works with professional translators and broadcasts the series with English - sometimes Spanish - subtitles with the original sound. This eliminates the need for expensive synchronizations.

The relatively young company is also taking a different approach Viki from Singapore. Different from competitors Dramafever is Viki dependent on the cooperation of the members. For diligent translators, the company offers additional content that is normally blocked for the region, as well as streams in HD quality. There is also no subscription fee for these people. Both providers offer ad-financed as well as ad-free but fee-based models. The multitude of languages ​​created can be seen at Viki Realize that the Korean Dramas (K-Drama) are not only used by Asians. Many fans from South America, USA, Canada, the Middle East and Europe can also leave comments on the film. Some shows are so popular that they are overflowing with commentary that it's difficult to keep track of all of the comments. Of course you can also hide them.

Serial junkies aren't idiots

Daily soaps stand for shallow entertainment and are a magnet for housewives. Unlike American or European daily soaps, K-dramas are elaborately produced telenovelas. They always end after a single season that is seldom continued. Also different: K-Dramas are already being broadcast before the season is completely filming. Lively communication takes place between the fans and the makers, so that the producers can extend the series by a few episodes if it is successful or design the end a little differently than originally planned. In South Korea, such dramas are usually broadcast twice a week in prime time.

Not all viewers of such series are addicted series junkies who consume without mind. A French woman suffering from cancer, for example, started with during her therapy Viki To translate K-dramas and was able to overcome her difficult phase. Your children, too Viki infected, started helping them with the translation work and were able to improve their language skills.

Nor is it that the K-Dramas are undemanding entertainment series. The Wall Street Journal wrote an article in which allegedly intellectually undemanding K-dramas were contrasted with the well-known American series "The Big Bang Theory". K-dramas would be consumed by ordinary people with less education, the article said. The next day there was huge indignation in various forums from all over the world and across all social classes. The Wall Street Journal received angry posts from academics, judges, doctors, and teachers.

K-dramas for everyone

One might think that K-dramas are mainly consumed by Asians or ethnic Asians in the United States. An investigation of Dramafever but has shown that this is not the case. K-Dramas are well received by all population groups. Many of the viewers are fed up with the explicit representations of the American series. Other viewers are interested in a new culture. The fact that people from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East have similar family values ​​anyway and therefore the series from South Korea are more receptive to these viewers cannot be denied.

How Dramafevers CEO Seung Bak once explained that the K-Dramas are always a more or less complicated love story in which the circumstances of two people who are certain for each other make it difficult to find each other. The love story is embedded in a wide range of genres: there are thrillers, war dramas, romantic comedies or even vampire films. In many of these series, the man takes the dominant role. You are kings of ancient Korea, the son of a wealthy chaebol (large family business), or a handsome alien with special skills. Women, on the other hand, take on the role of a simple girl who is pure in heart and good-looking. Of course, bad roles should not be missing: It is not uncommon for the bad role to be reserved for a mother-in-law.

The Korean wave

Korean dramas spread in parallel with the success of Korean pop music, known as K-pop, collectively referred to as Hallyu (Korean wave). Already in the 1990s with the love drama "Winter Sonata", which was very successful in Japan. Even today the fans - mostly middle-aged women - scream when the main actor Bae Yong-Joon appears anywhere in Japan. "Dae Jang Geum", a historical drama about a girl who first became a royal cook and later even a royal doctor in ancient Korea, became so successful in China that the then Chinese President Hu Jintao said that he would Enjoyed the series, but unfortunately couldn't follow all the episodes because of his work. An action-packed historical series “Jumong” even achieved a market share of over 80 percent in Iran.

In addition to the impressive successes in many countries, the K-Dramas achieve a snowball effect in marketing. Even if the brand logos have to be hidden in the series, the Koreans recognize which car brands the stars of the series are driving with. BMW, Audi and Mercedes are among the favorite brands of many well-heeled customers in Korea. German automobile manufacturers also owe the K-dramas that their cars are so successful in Korea. Other products are also intentionally or unintentionally placed in the series, some of which then generate such great demand that after a few days of being broadcast these items are no longer available. An 8,000 dollar type of coat from the USA that a leading actress wore in a series is said to have been completely sold out within a few days. Further effects can be observed in the steadily increasing number of tourists in Korea who only travel to Korea to visit the locations, stock up on cosmetics or have cosmetic surgery so that they look like the pretty actresses in the K- Dramas.

The makers of these series achieve a synergy effect by specifically using K-Pop stars in the K-Dramas in order to also attract a young audience. On the other hand, some songs only become famous through K-dramas because they accompany memorable scenes in the original soundtrack.

Skeptical TV managers

Now the question arises why the successful series from Korea are not shown on German television at all. This may be due to the fact that those responsible for the program in Germany think very conservatively and do not want to take any risks. After all, synchronizing the series would initially be associated with high costs. They are also skeptical that the cultural difference between West and East is so great that success in this country is not guaranteed.

The fact that not all Germans are so melancholy, but rather curious and open to other cultures, can be seen, among other things, from the numerous German translations, comments and discussions on the Korean dramas on the various streaming portals.

Min-woo is an introverted web comic book artist who suffers from headaches and memory loss from work pressures. When he finds a note on his desk, he begins to work up his memory gaps from the age of 18 - and remembers his great love Mimi. To the first episode of Mimi.