Korean dramas have always had an international audience, but once they started streaming on Netflix, that audience grew exponentially. K-dramas regularly dominate Netflix’s non-English TV charts. Some, such as Extraordinary Attorney Woo, even crack the weekly top 10 in the US. But Netflix is getting more expensive by the year, which is why K-drama fans will be thrilled to learn about a new ad-supported streaming service called BINGE Korea.
On Tuesday, Variety reported that South Korean media company NEW ID launched the free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service “BINGE Korea” in the United States. It’s the first FAST service dedicated to Korean content, which is honestly hard to believe.
Currently, BINGE Korea is available on Samsung, LG Smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV, but the company plans to bring the service to Roku, iOS, and Android TV in the future.
BINGE Korea will launch with 36 channels in the US. It features a mix of curated channels that will show a variety of content and “Single-IP” channels that will only stream episodes of a single show. Although the service will be relatively limited at launch (compared to The Roku Channel’s 300+ channels), NEW ID wants to make 100 channels available within the first year.
As paid streaming services continue to hike their prices, FAST services become more and more attractive. In a recent article, The Hollywood Reporter noted that Paramount’s Pluto TV has 80 million active users, while Fox’s Tubi isn’t far behind with 65 million.
As noted above, availability of the BINGE Korea app is limited at launch, but given the popularity of Korean content in the US (see: Squid Game), NEW ID will certainly be eager to put BINGE Korea on as many platforms as possible as quickly as possible.