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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 16, 2014

SoftBank Increases Online Content with Acquisition of DramaFever

By Frank Griffin, TMCnet Contributing Writer

The dramatic rise of Netflix is forcing content providers to reassess their delivery method. According to a recent comScore (News - Alert) report, 44 percent of millennials (18-34 age demographic) watch TV on desktop computers and 49 percent watch TV on tablets, which clearly explains why Netflix is doing so well. This fact has not escaped companies that have a digital presence, and as one of the largest Internet and media companies in the world, SoftBank is acquiring DramaFever Corp. to increase its content library around the world.

The recent $75 billion windfall SoftBank received from a $20 million investment it made in Ali Baba in 2000 not only ranks as one of the greatest returns of all time, but it also gives the company the ability to purchase more companies around the world, which it has been doing even before Alibaba’s IPO.

With DramaFever, SoftBank now has one of the largest online video destinations for premium international television shows and movies. Since it was established in 2009, DramaFever has increased its content to more than 70 major broadcasters in studios throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. The presence in so many countries has given the company the leverage to negotiate output deals, which allows it to be first in selecting the best titles from international broadcasters and distributors. The programming it acquires have exclusivity rights with distribution for same or next day broadcast, and currently has 700 titles and 15,000 episodes in its library.

“This is a triumphant day for our content partners who have demonstrated that engaging stories and characters transcend languages and borders. It is also a great day for our viewers, who can continue to expect DramaFever to bring them the best series and movies from around the world,” said DramaFever Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Suk Park.

The DramaFever programming is delivered around the world on demand through its websites as well as applications on iPhone, iPad, Android (News - Alert), Roku, and Google TV. It also syndicates many of the programming in its library to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes, giving it unique monthly viewers of more than 20 million each and every month.

 “DramaFever has built an impressive internet-based streaming video business operating at scale. 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,” said Nikesh Arora, Vice Chairman of SoftBank Corp. and CEO of SIMI.

As the infrastructure for fixed and wireless broadband technology continues to increase in many regions around the world, the delivery system DramaFever has in place will allow it to provide content virtually anywhere in the world and increase its customer base to rival and even surpass that of Netflix.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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