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How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

There’s so much that goes into creating a Korean drama. The screenwriter, director, actors, and production crew pour sweat, tears, and sometimes blood into delighting and entertaining fans. And the process can take anywhere from a few months to years. That’s why it’s important to support their hard work by watching dramas on legitimate websites and apps. But I know it’s not always easy to stream old faves or new shows you’ve been looking forward to. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of options. You may have already been aware of some of these sites, but hopefully you’ll learn about a new one you can add to your arsenal. I certainly have! Just keep in mind that access to some of them will depend on your region. But no matter who you are or where you live, let’s continue to support the industry we love.

Happy streaming!


Viki

How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

Viki is one of the most popular K-drama streaming sites for a reason. You can watch shows without creating an account or getting a membership in exchange for putting up with a few ads. If you can’t stand ads or want access to exclusive content, the lowest membership is a very reasonable $4.99 a month. Viki’s also got a fun and chaotic feature where you can chat with people in real time while watching a drama or movie. They recently added the option to rent movies too.


Kocowa

How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

Kocowa boasts having the largest collection of Korean TV shows in the Americas with subtitles in multiple languages. You need an account to watch stuff, but they have the latest dramas and even variety shows like Running Man and Weekly Idol. They have a lot of older “comfort watch” shows too. A membership is $6.99 a month, but they have a cool feature where you can just pay 99 cents for a day! So if you just want to watch a movie or a couple episodes of a show with no commitments, then this could be the perfect service for you!


Netflix

How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

Netflix is striving to become a major contender when it comes to Korean dramas. Some of their Netflix originals are dramas, and they have a nice catalogue of old and new. They have a decent amount of Korean movies too. The cons are: you need a membership to watch anything, and the basic plan is $8.99 and only lets you stream on one screen.


OnDemandKorea

How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

This service is a mixed bag of options, and you can even watch some new dramas without creating an account or paying for a membership! You’ll just have to be patient with the commercials and keep an eye out, because some shows are subbed and some aren’t. There’s a cool pay-per-view option though, and if you’re willing to shell out $6.99 per month, you’ll have access to popular dramas that are airing.


iQIYI

How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

Just like Viki and OnDemandKorea, you don’t need an account to stream dramas on iQIYI. The trade-off is dealing with ads and certain episodes of new dramas only being available to VIP users. I’d also read over the site’s privacy policy if you’re a stickler when it comes to protecting your information. At first glance, iQIYI’s catalogue looks C-drama heavy, but they have Korean dramas as well, and their memberships start at $6.99.


Viu

How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

Unfortunately, Viu isn’t available in the US, but it is available in sixteen countries, so click on the link to see if yours is one of them. Like the other streaming services, Viu allows you to watch some of the latest Korean dramas with a membership. I’m less familiar with the pricing since it’s not in US dollars, but once you click on the link you should be able to find their subscription packages for different countries.


AsianCrush

How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

If your wallet’s hurtin’ and you don’t want any more bills, then AsianCrush is perfect for you. There’s a website and an app version, and you don’t need to sign up for either to enjoy Korean dramas with ads. They also have Chinese and Japanese dramas, as well as anime. The downside is most of them aren’t new shows, so you’ll have to be content walking down memory lane. Although, every once in a while they have something new-ish. There’s also a premium membership for $4.99 a month that’ll cut out ads and get you exclusive content if you decide you can handle one more subscription.


Hulu

How to Watch K-Dramas (8 Legitimate sites!)

A few years ago, Hulu was starting to give Viki a run for their money, but around 2016 the streaming giant’s catalogue of Korean dramas dwindled. At the time of this post, you can still find some old faves like Boys Over Flowers and Descendants of the Sun on Hulu, but don’t expect much new content. Their lowest package is $5.99, and you need to sign up before you can stream anything.


Now that you know there’s a world beyond Viki and Netflix, you can explore some of these sites and apps to see if they suit your drama-watching needs. Most importantly, by watching shows through them, you’ll be supporting your faves and setting up the industry to give us more great productions in the future.

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9 Comments

  1. WPB
    April 6, 2021 / 9:22 pm

    Adri,

    May I also add one more on the list- iq.com or iQIYI? Here is what is from their “about us” – Headquartered in Singapore, iQIYI International is an on-demand video streaming service providing beloved pan-Asian entertainment to international viewers. Offering both ad-supported and VIP subscription services, iQIYI International delivers premium drama series, movies, variety shows, and anime; with local languages and subtitles; powered by cutting-edge technology. iQIYI International also makes its technology available to other entertainment services through SaaS partnerships. iQIYI International can be enjoyed on any device via iQ.com and the app. iQIYI International is owned by iQIYI, Inc.

    A fan posted about it last year when I was looking for a way to watch the show – Dinner mate. One can subscribe membership but most shows are free with a 2 weeks delay.

    • Adri
      Author
      April 7, 2021 / 12:26 am

      I saw iQIYI pop up during my research and thought about adding it, but after a quick look I didn’t see any Korean dramas. I think I only saw Chinese dramas, so thanks for clarifying! 🙂 If you come across any more sites, please feel free to share.

      • LizJ
        April 7, 2021 / 5:49 pm

        I’ve gone back and forth about iQIYI. While the international corporation is HQ’ed in Singapore, they share user information with iQIYI China. From the privacy policies on iQ.com

        “To successfully provide you with relevant services of iQIYI, we may share internally your information with our related companies; for example, to help you save time and simplify process, we will share your account information and you can directly use the account and password of this service to log in other “iQIYI” products operated by Beijing iQIYI Technology Co., Ltd. or its related companies, without further registration.”

        • WPB
          April 7, 2021 / 9:36 pm

          Good to know! I usually got to watch the Kdramas I want on Netflix or Viki. iQIYI is my 3rd option if the first two fail. I don’t have an account on iQIYI and only watch shows there as “visitor”. Hopefully that way there is less chance my information be shared.

        • Adri
          Author
          April 8, 2021 / 2:57 am

          Oh, wow! Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

      • Fangirl Sy
        April 8, 2021 / 1:17 am

        I actually downloaded it for New Year’s Blues (kmovie) and now I’m watching Oh Master on it realtime. 😊

        It’s pretty ok in terms of both with ads and premium content

        • Adri
          Author
          April 8, 2021 / 2:58 am

          Which one? iQIYI? 🙂

  2. Beez
    April 20, 2021 / 7:54 pm

    I am watching my worst nightmare come true! I felt impending doom when Netflix first began to air current Kdramas although my main reason was they didn’t understand the need to broadcast currently airing dramas on a weekly basis and would air half a show and wait eight weeks to air the other half. This would destroy the drama watching community (at least for the western part of the world because bloggers based in Asia would watch the shows as they air, blog and discuss them with others who also watched but we westerners would be waiting to see the episodes. Then when Netflix finally made them available, we had nowhere to discuss them because everyone had already moved on to the next drama.

    So now, I pay for Netflix, Hulu, Viki AND KOCOWA. Not to mention Apple will be adding Kdramas (I think I’m just going to put my proverbial for down and not sign up for another service.) But here’s the outrageous dilemma for me – I wanted to watch Oh! Master (aka Oh! My Ladylord which is an MBC show and yet Kocowa doesn’t have it! I pay a separate fee to have Kocowa because despite their partnership with Viki, certain shows Viki still doesn’t get, for example Nokdu Flower.

    So yes, I’m watching Oh! Master on an illegal site. And I don’t feel guilty at all! But I will bookmark this article for the good information provided. Thanks.

  3. Rumi
    June 8, 2021 / 1:25 pm

    I’ll add Wetv & mewatch as legit apps to watch too.

    SBS world has some of their popular dramas on YouTube too, without any subscription. KBS too has their family dramas & drama specials available for free.

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