Wavve, one of the largest Korean-owned video streaming platforms, has acquired Kocowa, a specialty distributor of Korean content in the Americas, for 90.1 billion won (US$70.62 million), as it works to bring K-content to the North American market.
Kocowa, which stands for Korean Content Wave, is owned by SK Telecom, KBS, MBC and SBS. It streams only Korean dramas, reality shows, and K-pop content, and offers subtitles in a number of languages. The service was first made available in July 2017, and can be streamed in about 30 countries, including United States, Canada, Brazil, and Mexico.
Wavve originals, such as webtoon-based drama series “Weak Hero Class 1” (2022), “The Law Café” (2022), “Cheer Up” (2022) and K-pop reality show “Welcome to NCT Universe," are currently available for streaming through Kocowa, which also offers its programing through Prime Video, Google TV, Rakuten Viki, Roku, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, and Cox.
Before the acquisition, content from Wavve could not be streamed overseas except for regions in Southeast Asia due to copyright issues. “We aim to establish a system which could create synergy between Kocowa and Wavve. We are only at the starting point but our ultimate goal is to become the best K-content platform within the global market as quickly as possible,” said Lee Tae-hyun, CEO of Wavve.