More Americans Watching International TV

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If you love international media as much as we do — and if you’re here, you probably do, or you at least want to learn more — you’ll be pleased to know that you’re not alone.

(Well, you know you’re not alone, because you’ll always have us, but now we’re all less alone).

Food? Check. Computer streaming kdramas? Check. This is me just about any weekend.

Food? Check. Computer streaming kdramas? Check. This is me just about any weekend.

USA Today published an interesting story on the rising popularity of international media in the United States.  And we’re talking more than just Canadian and British content, the latter of which we’ve been importing from across the pond for decades.  Its exclusive focus is on the Internet’s role in American access to international media.  The growing numbers of international shows on well-known sites like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube are all mentioned, but what really got me smiling (and, yes, if I’m honest, jumping up and down a little bit inside) is coverage of sites like DramaFever, Viki, and Crunchyroll, all of which I visit on a regular basis.

While the article acknowledges that Asian media like Korean dramas and Japanese anime is at the forefront, it mentions television and movies from all over the world, like what’s found on Hulu Latino and YouTube’s iROKOtv (a channel for Nigerian movies that I totally have to check out now).

We covered similar points to the USA Today article in our piece on online piracy; namely, that piracy has motivated international companies to make their content available online in North America at around the same time as it’s available in their country of origin.  Its popularity might be changing the way these companies view their product distribution.

All in all, it’s a fascinating read.  I was especially interested by stories from the founders of sites like DramaFever and iROKOtv, about how they got their sites up and running.  I also love the behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Viki subtitling process; the site’s one of my favorites for streaming because it really promotes a user-community atmosphere.  My favorite part, however, has to be the explanation of why people are watching these shows: because they’re good.  More and more Americans are acknowledging that  the best entertainment doesn’t have to come from our country, and I couldn’t be happier.

You can read the USA Today story here.  What do you think about what it has to say?  What have your own experiences using the Internet to access content from around the world been like?  Let us know in the comments below.