Viki Is Really Pushing Hard With The Plus Pass... In All The Wrong Ways

Kdramas under KOCOWA used to be exclusive for usually a month. Well, that month has turned into a year. At least you could use a VPN with the Passes that are available worldwide once that period of time was over. The only “option” right now is to make payments over an unverified connection, which is a big No-No.
Or wait 350 days… :disappointed_relieved:

I understand, of course, since it’s a business, but this is a silly business. You limit the use of Passes. You regionally block content. Isn’t the point of any business to bring in more clients !? Make more money ?! Viki seems bent on alienating customers, while proactively encouraging piracy. I don’t get it…


I don’t have Viki Pass Plus, but it seems like I can watch the first episodes of this drama

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The first two actually. The rest of the episodes are only available to U.S. viewers with a Plus Pass.

(I wrote this on another thread but I think it is more suited to this discussion thread)
Dear Viki,
If you are going to change (read mostly remove ) access to language options, new episodes of shows (such as this years episodes becoming available a year from now) for standard pass, then please give enough advance notice to your subscribers.
It seems you guys have a tendency of just making the changes abruptly without any advance notice. And most of the changes tend to remove privileges/ services rather than add them. If I have paid for a standard pass and episodes of a certain drama and show were available every week or a language when I paid for my annual subscription, then you removing such access during the duration of my paid subscription is not right because you are removing services that I have paid for already. So either return a portion of the subscription charge to all who are affected negatively by such changes or give advance notice and justification or wait until subscription has expired to make changes.
Your cancelation policy does not return money that has been charged for the whole year even if we cancel our subscription (which I find is becoming more and more useless) midway through the year, so when you remove services and advantages from my subscribed pass during the year, I think it is equivalent to a scam. Do you think other streaming services like Netflix would get away if they did such a thing? It is really off-putting and needless to say chances of renewing subscription are nil.
I know you are really trying to push the Plus Pass but all subscribers have the right to be notified when you make changes to your subscriptions and if you remove access to something, make sure it is not a service you have already charged the client in advance.


Yes, I agree, of course. The whole concept of KOCOWA is terrible. Fortunately, it only applies to Korean dramas. From what I can gather, Chinese dramas are much more popular and accessible.
The language restriction might be a bug, though. This needs to be reported.


WHAT? Much more popular? You must be joking. Viki has been focusing on Chinese dramas not because they have such a great fanbase (they do, of course but it’s not the majority by far) but only because they cannot get their hands on many of the hot Korean ones, and it has to compensate somehow. With Chinese dramas, with MANY Korean reality shows, with Korean films and even with some Japanese content in the past few months.


Well, No, not really. My posts to bring Kocowa and Kdramas to European shores never get the views or replies of those focused on Chinese content. I’m always asked about Cdramas. No one seems to care about Kdrama, though. Maybe I got it wrong…


Hi adrianmorales, Thank you for your reply. Even if programs from other countries are not restricted, the fact that at least a portion of the programs are is the point. It is a matter of principle! I hope you understand the point I am trying to make. Had I know VIKi would pull such a trick, I would not have signed up or paid for a whole year in advance which I learn is basically nonrefundable!

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Of course I understand! I want everyone to have a fair and enjoyable experience on Viki. You’ll discover my posts to be a bit on the “revolutionary” side, but only because I genuinely care about the service and those who work to make it happen, from volunteers to subscribers.

That’s because Europeans are probably a minority compared to viewers from the Americas? (including Latin America)

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That might be as well, because there are so many languages used in Europe and the licenses in Europe are not unitary. Not everyone is able to communicate in English.


So much for the European Community. They can’t even get Korean dramas right. :joy_cat::joy_cat::joy_cat:

For the price they put for Viki pass plus, they need to offer more show like Netflix and have there own exclusive. Most of the stander pass you can watch for free from other site, kinda pointless to to even have stander. Heck some site even offer more shows, It kinda disappointment.

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I am guessing that, since they pay good money to KC for those licenses, they want to make the most of it. Of course there is a sweet balance between promoting and pushing.

I don’t understand why all the hate is directed towards just Viki. Viki Pass Plus came into being when China placed a ban on Korean dramas. A LOT of money down the tubes. So the 3 major networks, SBS, MBC and KBS formed the Kocowa group and instituted their own paying website and made it available in most countries. Since you have to pay to watch their shows on that site, it only makes sense that they would force Viki to come up with a new Pass level for their shows. The money to produce new shows has to come from somewhere! You might be interested in reading this article in the Korea Times:
"Three major television broadcasts ― KBS, MBC, SBS ― are poised to stop airing primetime TV series for Mondays and Tuesday nights, due to fiscal deficits.
The decision to cut down on TV series production comes from the networks attempt to survive through the enormous financial deficits they are facing.

KBS has been suffering from profit losses since last year. Its operating loss was recorded as 58.5 billion won ($48 million) last year and is estimated to increase this year. In response to cope with the loss, it formed a task force and created a management plan report. It projected a deficit totaling 102 billion won ($ 84 million) for this year and accumulated deficit at over 400 billion won within four years.

The operating loss for MBC last year was 123.7 billion won ($102 million) which is 80.6 billion won ($ 66 million) higher than the previous year."

I actually would not be surprised if their subscription rate on their site and Viki doesn’t increase.


It’s not, though. This is why I originally made the post. If they’re losing money, why not expand their services then?

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They probably have data on how many interested people there are in each country, and they wait until there are a bit more. (Maybe they wait for k-pop to open the way?)

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After searching for a short moment:

I have understood that there were mainly:

  • terrestrial TV channels: KBS, SBS and MBC
  • cable TV channels (paid ones): tvN, JTBC

This article in late August 2019 ( mentions the reasons of their struggling and financial loss:

1) falling viewership ratings in weekdays dramas for terrestrial channels (from 2-digit to 1-digit) and for news programs:

"About a decade later, however, the broadcasters, which have been struggling with falling viewership ratings, decided to remove 16-episode series from their prime nighttime slot on Mondays and Tuesdays as part of their cost-saving efforts. Weekday dramas will be broadcast only on Wednesdays and Thursdays from now on.
The move came after a series of failures of big-budget weekday dramas in the first half.

The article does a comparison with weekdays audience (before/now and networks):

-Before: 40% audience easily for TV networks
-Now: < 10 %
-News sector: 18% before, 11.5 % now for KBS (same trend for SBS and MBC)

2) Competition and cable channels with 2-digit viewership ratings:

“Separate data released from Nielson Korea, the combined viewership ratings of three major terrestrial broadcasters (KBS, SBS and MBC) reached 62.23 percent in 2000 but nearly halved to 33.4 percent in 2018.”

“Over the 18-year period, the corresponding figures of paid TV channels, including tvN, soared to 17.68 percent from 2.03 percent.”
Ex: “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” by tvN and the black comedy “Sky Castle” by JTBC overwhelmed terrestrial channels’ contemporary programs with ratings of 20 percent or higher.

1. and 2.
Why does this competition gain more viewership? The plot.

Dramas on terrestrial TV channels have failed to measure up to viewers’ expectations due to their corny story lines and formulaic plots, while cable channels have picked up experimental and flashy shows and created solid fan bases.

3. Change of habits (Millenials don’t watch content on TV channels + revenue/cost from an advertisement on TV + viewership ratings on TV and how to record viewership rating on the internet, the medium of communication we mostly use?):

Experts, however, said a decrease in terrestrial channels’ grip has been long anticipated amid a change in the media environment as a growing number of people rely more on new kinds of platforms like YouTube, Netflix and social media rather than turning on their television sets.

Back in 2011 (8 years ago) and 2015, it was the same matter and other reasons were:

4. Cost compared to revenue: the plot again

“the problem is that drama production costs just keep rising, and advertising for low-rated shows isn’t bringing in enough revenue. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the highest cost goes to the lowest-rated shows: prime time weeknight miniseries (16 to 24 episodes), which are still the marquee programs for the Big 3. Yet the reality is that long-run weekend or daily dramas are far more cost-efficient and have bigger viewership to boot.”

The author’s comment for removing Mon-Tues drama slot on SBS:
“On one hand, it’s too bad that after having a year of extra choices, we’ll be losing one slot. On the other, sure makes no sense continuing something when it’s a losing proposition.”

I think they cut down on TV production from Mon-Tues nights because it was where a big part of the financial loss was coming from with not enough TV viewers and TV revenue. It was the root that lead to this decision.


Availability in 360-something days is better than forever unavailability. Right?


Yeah, I used to enjoy using Viki to watch the series. The ones from China or Japan aren’t my cup of tea. Korean productions are the popular and interesting ones. I recommended Viki because they translate the lyrics of the music in the background and I was patient enough to wait for the new content to be available. But now it’s discouraging and my friends say it too. Come on, too much content gets blocked. I finally gave up on this. Time to pick the other options available it is.

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