If you’re unfamiliar with the Korean Wave, you’ve likely been hiding under a rock for the last decade. The Korean Wave is the term used to describe the influx of South Korean music, film, television, and other pop culture which has been growing in popularity around the world since the ‘90s. Arguably the most popular example of the Korean Wave was the infectiously catchy 2012 single “Gangnam Style” by K-pop singer Psy. Both the song and its outlandish, zany video went viral for a few years, dominating airwaves and tallying tens of millions of views online. Aside from music, several korean films have made their way into mainstream Western pop culture in recent years, from the 2016 zombie thriller Train to Busan to the 2013 sci-fi drama Snowpiercer. One of the largest hurdles facing the Korean wave is the fact that South Korean films and series have been difficult to find and stream online – particularly with translations. For that reason, a team of Korean broadcasters has joined forces to launch Kocowa, a new streaming service specifically for bringing the best Korean television to the U.S. market.
Kocowa launched in the U.S. on July 24, 2017. The video-on-demand service is a joint venture between KBS, MBC and SBS, the three largest television distributors in South Korea. Together, the three firms launched KCP, an LA-based distributor which brings the best Korean content to the U.S. market. KCP Global CEO Junsik Kim says that Kocowa, a portmanteau of “Korean Content Wave,” is designed to offer a world-class streaming experience for the millions of Korean Wave fans in the U.S.:
Korean pop stars, such as PSY and BTS, have captured global audiences, forging interest in discovering more Korean stars and TV programs. We are thrilled to bring the best of Korean TV to U.S. audiences with Kocowa. We not only offer the best of Korean TV, we also offer it very fast, with very high-quality translations.
Kocowa airs programs just six hours after their Korean broadcast, meaning their translators have their work cut out of them. The streaming service has a host of subscription options available; users can subscribe to one-day access for just $0.99, or pay either $6.99 monthly or $69.99 for a whole year. Kocowa also offers a free version which gives users access to content – with ads – only 24 hours after its broadcast release. Kocowa is available on Windows and Mac and iOS and Android mobile devices.