Best Streaming Services for K-Dramas (2023)

With the popularity of K-dramas rising internationally, streaming services are pumping outTV seriesand films to make it easy for viewers to find new and classic titles. K-dramas first started gaining momentum in South Korea in the '70s, but the genre is growing beyond its traditional borders and finding audiences on Netflix and other platforms.

From zombie thrillers to emotional family stories, these dramas are grounded in Korean culture and pack in high-quality storytelling. But prepare for a ride. Predictable plots are not a hallmark of this in this genre, as romance, action, magic and social commentary are often woven into the storylines. And so is music.

In the K-drama world, producers tap K-pop stars to perform theme songs and other musical numbers for their series, and sometimes, these popular performers snag acting roles. IU headlined Hotel Del Luna, while 2PM's Ok Taec-yeon starred in Netflix's Vincenzo. And we can't forget to mention BTS fan-favorite Kim "V" Taehyung who played in 2016's Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth.

No matter who's cast, you can be entertained while watching a Korean series. Here's a list of the best places to stream K-dramas.

Best Streaming Services for K-Dramas (1)

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Streaming K-dramas on Rakuten Viki -- better known as Viki -- is like hitting the mother lode. The streaming service specializes in content from Asia with a dedicated section for Korean offerings. Viki has over 1,000 Korean TV series and more than 200 movie titles that you can watch on demand, including originals. And the platform also airs some shows live. Everything on the service is subtitled, often in multiple languages.

One of the standout features of Viki is its special collections section of curated content. Examples include shows to check out if you like Squid Game, K-drama for beginners, or best Korean dramas of the year.

Rakuten Viki offers a free streaming option with ads and limitations for some content. Paid subscriptions are ad-free: Viki Standard Pass is $5 a month and the Viki Plus Pass is $10 monthly. The Standard Pass includes HD, Viki originals and access to exclusive Standard titles.

The Viki Plus Pass includes everything from the Standard version, plus offline downloads and access to hundreds of hours of additional content. Each paid plan comes with a seven-day free trial. Additionally, there's an option to rent some movies for $2 to $3.

At this time, Viki does not offer multiple streams, so you can only stream one thing at a time per account. However, you can follow shows, actors, or collections and set up a watch list if you register a free account. Viki is available on a web browser or via Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and mobile devices.

Best Streaming Services for K-Dramas (2)

Netflix/Youngkyu Park

Squid Game, All of Us Are Dead and Alchemy of Souls made waves at Netflix, with more originals in the pipeline. The streamer planned torelease 25 Korean TV series in 2022, a move that signals its dedication to expanding its catalog in the genre. Currently, Netflix has more than 130 Korean shows and movies on the platform, featuring licensed picks like Stranger and a string of originals, including Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area.

Netflix has several ways for you to find K-dramas on the service and simplifies the process of drilling down to niche categories. There's its "K-Dramas for Beginners" list and an even more specific "K-Dramas about Roommates" section. If you love romance, bromance, fantasies or historical epics, you're in luck. The service offers a mixture of subtitled and dubbed fare.

Click on the TV Shows menu and choose the "K-dramas" genre to pull up more than a dozen rows of content. New releases, classic series and movies are among the choices. While Netflix's Korean movie selection isn't as deep as other streaming services, there are enough on the platform to keep your watch list stacked.

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Best Streaming Services for K-Dramas (3)

Sarah Tew/CNET

Based in Los Angeles, Kocowa launched in 2017 and all of its content comes directly from South Korea. The service boasts more than 17,000 hours of Korean TV, including Running Man and The Penthouse. In addition to K-drama television series and movies, there are reality shows, docuseries, K-pop events and competitions on the service. Its K-drama titles are organized into niche categories like romance, sports, crime or action. Like Netflix, the service has rows that denote whether titles are trending, new or genre-specific. And viewers appreciate Kocowa's quick turnaround time when it comes to subtitling new arrivals on the platform.

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You can view some content for free on the app or Kocowa's website without signing up. You can also sign up for Taste24HR, which provides free access to Korean shows and dramas right after they air on South Korea networks MBC, KBS and SBS. The new content streams with and without subtitles and is up for 24 hours. Both options include ads.

The $7 monthly/$70 per year subscription offers ad-free viewing of everything on the streaming service, and there's a 14-day free trial. You can also pay $0.99 for a single day of access, which is handy if there's one show you want to watch on a particular day or simply want to try things out.

While Kocowa is also available through Viki, the content on there does not include the service's whole library. Users in the U.S., Canada, and certain regions in South America can watch Kocowa directly on its website, or on Roku, Chromecast, Android and iOS devices. The app is not available on Amazon's Fire TV devices.

Best Streaming Services for K-Dramas (4)

Sarah Tew/CNET

As soon as you open the AsianCrush app on your TV, you'll notice live programming is running right alongside the standard thumbnails. The streaming service has content from South Korea, Japan, China and beyond, and you can watch most of it for free on the ad-supported version.

Its lineup of K-dramas and films can be streamed on-demand or, if you keep up with the schedule, as live feeds. Browse AsianCrush's library according to country, title, genre, on-demand listings, or through one of its special collections such as Korean movies. Popular titles include Boys Over Flowers and Sweet Revenge. And here, subtitles are king.

To watch without ads you'll need the premium subscription for $5 per month or $50 a year. Ratings are listed next to each title, and AsianCrush's on-demand menu breaks content down into categories like "Independent," "Staff Favorites" or "Popular Korean Dramas."

AsianCrush can be streamed via iOS devices, Google Play, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV or on your computer. The service is only available in the U.S. and Canada.

Best Streaming Services for K-Dramas (5)

Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tubi has close to 300 Korean titles in its library that range from the late '90s to 2021 -- and it's all free. Rather than scouring the app using creative search terms, movies and TV series can be found under Tubi's "K-Drama Plus" category, and you can search by title if you know exactly what you want to watch. While the majority of its selections are subtitled, there is a handful of English-dubbed titles.

Though the streaming service is free, you will have to register for an account if you want to create a personal watch list. Tubi is available on all major streaming devices, including game consoles and smart TVs.

Best Streaming Services for K-Dramas (6)

Angela Lang/CNET

If you haven't ventured into Prime Video's catalog lately, it's worth a peek at their Korean entertainment selection. Unfortunately they're not easy to find. While the service has a designated section for foreign content, it's not organized by country. Your best bet is to use specific titles or search terms such as "Korean dramas" or "Korean horror movies" to comb through Prime's titles. Alexa won't necessarily be much help either.

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Amazon's streaming service offers a sampling of originals, including The Handmaiden. You can also catch popular titles such as Train to Busan, Café Midnight, and Goblin, which are available to watch at no extra cost with a Prime membership. Its K-dramas are spread across genres where you'll find crime-themed shows like Voice housed alongside romantic fantasies such as Secret Garden. The platform carries both subtitled and dubbed programming.

Note that a stand-alone Prime Video subscription is $9. If you don't have a membership, no worries: Some K-dramas on the platform are part of IMDb TV, Amazon's free ad-supported video streaming arm. Other content has a rent or buy option, and that's indicated in the title banner.

K-Drama Streaming Services FAQs

What is a K-drama?

New to the world of Korean entertainment? K-drama -- short for Korean drama -- is a type of television series produced by and starring South Koreans. Some consider it a genre on its own, but within the Korean drama landscape, there are love stories, adventures, fantasies, historical dramas, comedies, horror tales, medical procedurals and school-centric sagas.

Writers will often work in themes centered on family, gender roles, mental health or other things affecting everyday society. Some streaming services include movies in their K-drama listings, whether they're in-house original productions or licensed from studios.

Are any K-dramas dubbed in English?

K-dramas are typically streamed with subtitles in various languages, including English and Spanish. On your search to find voice-dubbed content, you may be hard-pressed to come across titles that are dubbed in English. While some streaming services have a small sampling of dubbed versions, Netflix is the best place to find them.

Which K-drama streaming sites are legal?

Pirated content is nothing new. With that in mind, those hunting for Korean series may encounter some illegal sites that offer free streaming. Though free, these often pose security risks. Legit streaming services either make their own content or have licensing agreements in place with creators to ensure copyright laws are respected. How can you spot the difference between legal and illegal providers?

First, verify whether the service has an app. If you can find it on Google Play, Apple's App Store, FireTV, Roku and the like, chances are it's legal. If you're urged to use a VPN for a site, be wary. That's usually an indicator that it's not operating above board. And beware of those with dubious user interfaces.

Check the service's history or "About Us" section to find out how long it's been in business and where it's headquartered. If you see disclaimers about sharing links, run. Look for streamers like Netflix or Viki who offer monthly paid subscriptions. Though platforms like Tubi dole out free content, they have ad partnerships with credible businesses. When all else fails, Google legal streaming services.

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FAQs

Which app has all K-dramas? ›

Viki Rakuten– Most in Use Kdrama App

Viki is the latest go-to app by users to watch Kdrama shows. You can Find 100+ Korean shows and the app also covers almost all-around Asia's trending shows. From Chinese to Taiwan, you can find everything in the Viki app.

What is the best app to watch K-dramas for free? ›

WeTV, one of the best free Korean drama apps

WeTV is a good app to watch Korean dramas for free. The Kdrama streaming app contains hundreds of popular K-Dramas and movies, with high-quality videos.

Does Peacock have K-dramas? ›

Browse the full list of South Korean movies and TV shows streaming on Peacock.

Can I watch iQIYI for free? ›

No extra charge for watching all of iQIYI's massive library on your phone, TV, or computer! When watching on the big screen, HD quality and extraordinary sound will immerse you in the action. When watching on a browser, you can watch an entertaining video whenever you want. Scan QR to Download APP, Get VIP for FREE!

Is Viki Pass Plus worth it? ›

Lower levels of viki access will lock you out of the most popular airing episodes or make you wait forever to watch them. If you like watching as things as they air, viki plus is worth it. Viki is getting some of the old DramaFever (RIP) shows which is nice.

Do you have to pay for Kocowa? ›

You can now be our subscriber for $6.99 a month, $69.99 a year, or $0.99 a day! When you subscribe, the monthly subscription comes with a 14-day free trial, and the annual subscription has 2-month discounts.

Is Rakuten Viki free? ›

Viki is free! There's no need to pay to watch certain videos on Viki or the Viki apps.

Where can I watch K-dramas for free no ads? ›

So there a a-lot of amazing K-drama that I'll list according to it Genre. You can watch K-drama on Netflix and on Viki (its a free app).
...
This might not reach your full expectation but here are few good websites:
  • Viki.
  • AnimeTV.
  • Dramago.
  • KissAsian.
  • Amazon Prime Videos.
  • Dramacool.
  • New Asian TV.
  • KShow123.

Does Hulu have Korean dramas? ›

With Hulu, you can watch Korean dramas on all your devices. Whether you want watch Korean dramas online or from your Android device, Apple device or smart TV, Hulu has plenty of convenient viewing options.

Does Amazon Prime have Korean dramas? ›

Kocowa will add thousands of hit K-dramas, K-pop, K-variety, and library titles to Prime Video. The entity is part of wavve Americas (wA), a joint venture between the top three Korean broadcasters KBS, MBC, and SBS, along with SK Telecom. The channel debuts on Prime Video today.

Is VIU and Viki the same? ›

Viu is similar to Viki in terms of user interface and shows offered. The platform not only has dramas, movies, and variety shows, but it also has a range of reality TV shows, entertainment news programs, and anime series from not just Korea, but also China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Where can I watch Kdramas with English subtitles? ›

Part 1. 12 Best Sites to Watch Korean Dramas with English Subtitles
  • ViKi.
  • DramaCool.
  • KissAsian.
  • DramaNice.
  • Fdrama.
  • MyAsiaTV.
  • KShow.
  • DramaFeverOnline.

Does Tubi have Kdramas? ›

Your source for Korean Drama plus the all best Korean language content!

Why are Korean dramas popular? ›

Squeaky clean – The majority of K-Dramas are G-rated and very clean compared to American movies and television. Foul language is rare, violence is minimal, and love scenes rarely progress past kissing. In fact, even seeing a French kiss in a Korean drama is newsworthy.

How much does iQIYI charge per month? ›

Terms of Service. Subscription is renewed at $8.99 after the discount ends.Next recurring monthly renewal will be $8.99. Cancel anytime.

Is iQIYI any good? ›

iQiyi Review: Software

Both the iQiyi APP and the online platform are incredibly user-friendly (if you speak Chinese), intuitive, and most importantly – fast. Much faster than Netflix, actually. Like many Chinese apps, iQiyi uses simple software meaning that it works very quickly.

Does iQIYI cost money? ›

iQiyi offers two VIP packages:

Premium Monthly Subscription ($9.99/Month) (99.99/Year): Access to everything in the Standard Monthly Subscription, as well as 4 total screens.

How much is Viki monthly? ›

Only the Viki Pass Plus Monthly subscription (USD 9.99/month) is available via Roku.

Is Rakuten Viki the same as Viki? ›

In December 2010, Viki exited the beta phase of its software and made its services available to the general public. It was purchased by Rakuten in 2013.

How much does a Rakuten Viki subscription cost? ›

Viki Pass Standard: Viki Pass Standard is the same Viki Pass plan you know and love. Be the first to watch the biggest exclusives as well as Viki originals, movies, and more! No ads with HD access. This plan is available for just $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Is KOCOWA on Amazon Prime? ›

As of June 16, 2022, Kocowa (a Korean video streaming app) is now available on Amazon Prime Video to stream several favorites – with new content added daily!

Is KOCOWA part of Viki? ›

Rakuten Viki airs new programs from Korea, China and Japan, as well as a few original productions, but even more content is available through the partnership with Kocowa, if viewers have a subscription.

Does Viki plus include KOCOWA? ›

Kocowa is a streaming service launched by the partnership of KBS, SBS, and MBC -- the three major TV networks in South Korea. Note that a Viki Pass Plus subscription does not include access to Kocowa's website (Kocowa.com). It only includes the Kocowa-licensed content available on Viki.

Is Viki safe and legal? ›

Yes. The video streaming app Rakuten Viki is safe to watch dramas. It has numerous Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese dramas. Some of the drama's are standard mode meaning only few episodes are free to watch and to watch further episodes you have to pay and take membership.

Is Viki on Hulu? ›

Watch Rakuten Viki Network Online | Hulu (Free Trial) New subscribers only. Cancel anytime. Additional terms apply.

How do I get a free Viki subscription? ›

How Can I Get a Viki Free Trial?
  1. Visit Viki's website, and click 'Create Account'
  2. After creating your account, log in and return to the homepage.
  3. Click 'Get Viki Pass' in the top-right corner of the page.
  4. Choose your preferred plan, and click 'Start 7 days free trial'.
  5. You'll be directed to the checkout page.

Is Viki safe? ›

Because it is an official streaming service, Rakuten Viki is safe to use. In general, it will not differ much from platforms like Netflix and Disney+, except for the community subtitles and the option of watching content for free with ads.

Where can I watch Korean dramas in the Philippines for free? ›

Viu. Viu is an online platform where you can stream dramas from Korea, Japan, China, and more, plus popular anime titles available for free with ads, and via premium subscription. The streaming service also gives Pinoys the option to enjoy some of the most popular dramas out there in Filipino dub.

Where can I watch sweet teeth for free? ›

Currently you are able to watch "Sweet Teeth" streaming on iQIYI or for free with ads on iQIYI.

Which country is iQIYI available? ›

iQIYI, Inc. (Nasdaq: IQ) (“iQIYI” or the “Company”) is an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China. We are a leading internet video streaming service in China.

How do I access iQIYI China? ›

How to Watch iQIYI outside China [Quick Steps]
  1. Subscribe to a VPN service and download it (We recommend ExpressVPN).
  2. Then, launch the VPN app and sign in.
  3. Connect to a Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macau server from the list.
  4. Visit the iQIYI site, log in, and start streaming.
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