Ad-supported VOD site Viki is still anticipating the release of its first original series — but it’s already working on another.
Five Year is a new series based on an original script by Robert Kirkman (pictured above), creator of the wildly popular Walking Dead franchise. It is co-produced by Kirkman’s prodco Skybound Entertainment and Viki, which specializes in international content, including Korean dramas, Japanese anime and Bollywood films.
Viki CEO Tammy H. Nam (pictured right), said Kirkman pitched Viki on the show, described as an apocalyptic action thriller mixed with a Korean drama. It fit perfectly with Viki’s audience.
“Everyone loves a good apocalyptic story, so he’s taking that and combining it with the Korean drama style that our audience loves,” she told StreamDaily. The series will also be executive produced by Kirkman’s business partner, David Alpert.
It’s a similar approach to the one Viki took with its first original series, Dramaworld, which depicts a young American student who is magically transported into the world of her favourite K-drama.
Nam said as Viki begins to focus more on originals, the goal is to create content that is cross-cultural.
“Co-productions and originals are an increasingly important part of our strategy as a company,” she said. “Dramaworld is another example of something that transcends genres and cultures.”
The company has stated that its audience consists of more than 40 million viewers worldwide, and Nam said that U.S. viewers make up about 33% of Viki’s total traffic.
“Although we’re a global company, North America, specifically, the U.S. are our most important markets,” she said.
Indeed, the appetite for Asian content is strong in the West. According to recent research from Nielsen, Asian-Americans (one of the best-educated, highest-earning and fastest-growing multicultural demographics in the U.S.) consume more digital content than
ever before. Other VOD services have attempted to capitalize on this trend as well. Among the competitors in the space is SVOD DramaFever, which was recently acquired by Time Warner.