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

I hear you. In early August ‘20, Viki locked up nearly all of the previously available KOCOWA (KBS, MBC, SBS) content from the standard pass. The Viki Standard Pass is essentially worthless now (BTW, I am referring to content for users in NA, I’m not certain of other regions). Previously, all new KOCOWA content was available to Standard Pass users after waiting 365 days from the original on-air start dates. As well, nearly all of the older KOCOWA content was readily available for viewing. Now all but a very few KOCOWA dramas are locked, Viki Plus Pass only. Literally hundreds of K-dramas were locked at once (new and old), without ANY notice beforehand. This type of situation happened a few years back when Viki changed the new on-air KOCOWA drama wait time from a few weeks to a year, without notice.

For me there are just over 800 results on Viki in a search of content from Korea. (This includes dramas, web/mini dramas, variety & awards shows, etc. but not including movies) As of now, less than 300 are available to the NA Standard Pass, much of it low tier non-drama content. (Seriously, there’s only a handful of high-end K-drama left) Before Viki locked the higher quality content, there was more than twice that available to Viki Standard Pass.

I’ve been a Vikian for over 7 years, so needless to say, there’s not much quality-viewing left in that pool of 300 that I haven’t already watched over the years. I suppose this was Viki’s intention, to “force” Standard users to upgrade to Viki Plus and pay twice the annual fee. Not sure how that is going work out for them.

I understand it’s business, I’m just venting because I miss the old days of Viki, before Kocowa. :pensive:


Don’t we all? Including Viki, for which Kocowa is a great PIA?

If it can be of any comfort to you, think of Europeans. Even if we want to, even if we’re willing to pay for it, we can’t access Kocowa content because Vikipass Plus is not available in Europe (except the UK I think?).


I’m in the UK and only have Basic and Standard passes as options. Even Brexit couldn’t take back our passes! :rofl:


Ah, then it has changed. I remember vividly that KCW was available in the UK.
Now it is not either. That sucks.

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I compared Korean content at viki with and without my logging in as a North American gold QC – Without logging in, there are 903 K (dramas/movies/ variet) shows at viki; with logging in there are 1373. Within those categories, if I specify TV, there are 809 K Tv shows, and 1175, respectively. If I specify within “tv” the genre “drama” there are 474, not logged in, and 742, logged in, so a net benefit to viki pass plus or QC NA members of 268 dramas. I am also a paid Kocowa member. Although the number of drama available is far higher for the paid Kocowa membership than the viki pass plus offerings, Kocowa does not offer everything the “big three” - KBS, SBS, and MBC produce. For examples, Backstreet Rookie, produced by SBS, is noticeably absent from Kocowa. Men are Men from KBS2 is not on Kocowa. Viki viewers also have an advantage over Kocowa in the showing of drama from the cable networks, TvN, Ocn, Jtbc, and Channel A as well as the offerings in Chinese and Japanese.


Thank you for all the information you shared.

“Men Are Men” is available on KOCOWA (KCW) but titled “To All the Guys Who Loved Me”.


Thanks you are always both well-informed and informative.

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You’re welcome, and thanks for the compliment. :blush:

Thanks for the VPP comparison numbers, it’s interesting to get the full scope. On the other hand, I’m a NA Viki Standard Pass holder, for which the overall Korean content was extremely cut a couple weeks back. I took a few minutes and individually counted what is actually now available for NA Standard Pass users. I only counted K-drama, not web/mini, variety or movies - and I’m very sorry to report, there are now only 186 K-drama available for Standard Pass, versus the Plus Pass “drama” count of 742. :pensive:

Such is life, but it’s a hard pill to swallow, when previous to early August, Standard users had nearly triple the number of drama available. I get that Viki wants to push (force) the Plus Pass, but their manipulative tactics leave much to be desired.

@irmar of course I feel for you all in Europe, especially Viki volunteers, who I believe should not be restricted as a given. :two_hearts:


And these tactics could backfire, sending customers like you away. To competitors or to illegal sites. There’s a balance between more profits and satisfied customers, and it’s a very delicate balance.
I work part-time at a yoga/dance school, and we often have this discussion in meetings. Do we prefer more students who pay less or less students who pay more? I am always on the “more students” side, because those happy students are a living advertisement and will bring their friends. Plus a half-empty class looks gloomy and depressing. Of course, without overdoing it with dirt-cheap prices less than the market average. Tough decisions.

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Indeed, you are insightful. In my case, beyond the matter of a double price increase, it’s more a matter of principle. I’ve been a Viki Standard user for 7 years, happily paying the fee and happily appreciating the available content - and even accepting/understanding the abrupt change when the wait time to view on-air Kocowa dramas was shifted from a few weeks wait time to a 365 day wait time.

But, then, without any notice beforehand, hundreds of K-dramas were blocked overnight. What would have been so difficult to give Standard users a clear notice of the change, perhaps a few weeks previous? Oh, well, it’s water under the bridge - yet I believe you’re correct that Standard users are feeling alienated.

In my case, the annual subscription comes up in November and it’s unlikely I’ll stay with subscription Viki. I’ll probably go back to my old-school Japanese fansubbing distributors that are still around, and delve back in there. I will certainly miss the community here xo :two_hearts:


Yep we only get access to the basic and standard passes. Although I find myself questioning the relevance of the basic pass as over time I’ve noticed that steadily more content is moving on to the standard pass the standard pass only costs about 2 pounds per month more

I’m not surprised that a certain event hasn’t affected our ability to get passes. Many countries around the world have their own laws with respect to copyright and content licensing and the U.K.'s laws in this regard have been long established and whilst certain quirks of our legal system may make it more difficult to license certain things content rights holders understand what they’re letting themselves in for should they decide to allow their content to be licensed in the UK.

The EU does have its upcoming copyright directive , which is trying to harmonise copyright law throughout the EU which I believe isn’t due to come into effect until July next year.

There are certain aspects of the EU’s copyright directive which would not sit well with the UK so had the UK stayed in the EU. I think the copyright directive would have been the next major bust up between the UK and the EU, which would have likely have seen the UK get an opt out. The only reason why the UK allowed it to pass was because we were leaving the EU anyway. If we had stayed we would have likely vetoed it.

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Because they want customers for their own website, too!

It has been there for a few weeks but I only got to see it today

I have read it wrong I am so used on Viki Pass Plus advertisement, that I actually read it but it’s not even written there. Okay, today I don’t seem to be fully there, it is written in the added comment, I am a bit confused, sorry. Anyway, I have not seen much yet and maybe it excludes some older stuff, since I think I watched some, but well that was before mid August, will need to look for them.

What is annoying to “Out of America” viewers, Kocowa is no option for most of us, as it is not available to f.e. Europe (I can’t tell for other places). Yes, there are YT channels from two broadcasters so far with dramas accessible either for free with adds or paid without and full episode views. However, most of them have only English subtitles, or for my country some SBS have AI subtitles, hurray (yes, irony on board), German has formal and informal speech and it really often goes back and forth in one episode, in one scene, from one character, even in one sentence … Heavily annoying, I can’t recommend it, but at least English is decent, it doesn’t provide what I love at Viki song translations, TNs about cultural, language or other feedback needed to understand a certain scene and I really dislike the name addressing is being swept under the rug.

I know the calculator is the best friend of license holder and not the count of fan hearts is not added there.


I’ve also read this article today! And then, I read this article from 2018 (I haven’t read it until today):


For the american watchers, they can pay the most basic viki (at 9.99 per year),watch the new not-kocowa series with a few days delay, and pay kocova for a year at 69.99 per year…its cheaper that the viki plus pass and it covers all the kocowa content.

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