Summary:

DramaFever hopes that a Korean penguin is going to be the next big hit for kids TV in the U.S. The site, better known for Korean soap operas, just opened a kids section.

dramafever pororo

New York-based online video startup DramaFever is getting ready to target the next generation of viewers for its global TV platform. DramaFever added a dozen kids TV shows from South Korea to its site Monday, setting the stage for a new kids section that will eventually also offer content from other countries.

DramaFever’s collection of kids content includes Pororo, an animated kids show starring a little penguin that has become one of the most popular kids shows in South Korea. The show is available both as a Korean original and dubbed in English. Some of the other shows are only available in Korean, but come with English subtitles. Altogether DramaFever is offering around 300 episodes of kids content.

“When we look at foreign content, it’s almost like a gateway to culture,” DramaFever co-founder and co-CEO Suk Park told me during an interview Friday. He said that the service is targeting expat and multicultural families that want their kids to be exposed to Korean language and culture with the offering — a demand that hasn’t been met by the market.

The only way to get kids content in other languages is often YouTube, he said, adding: “YouTube is not the best environment for kids to look for and consume children’s content.” DramaFever wants to expand its kids content section in the coming months, with plans to also add Spanish-language and Chinese kids TV shows to its catalog.

DramaFever is one of a number of companies that has been specializing in content arbitrage: the cheap licensing of foreign TV shows for out-of-market audiences. There has been growing interest in this market segment, resulting in the acquisition of DramaFever competitor Viki for $200 million by Japan’s Rakuten as well as the acquisition of anime-centric Crunchyroll by the Chernin Group.

Park didn’t want to comment on any possible suitors for DramaFever, but said that the company has seen solid growth, resulting in 15 million monthly visitors.

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