Rakuten Viki

Viki Rakuten Viki Logo | © Rakuten

Rakuten Viki

Media Company


Founded by
Razmig Hovaghimian, Jiwon Moon, Changseong Ho

Known for
Asian Dramas

Most Popular Shows on Rakuten Viki
Goblin, Happiness, True Beauty, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God

Rakuten Viki is a VOD (video-on-demand) American streaming channel and website, just like Netflix. It has a range of streaming content available, like other streaming platforms, for non-native people; it has subtitles for more than 200 languages with original programming.

The main headquarters is in San Mateo, California, and has offices in Japan, Tokyo, Singapore, and South Korea. The term ‘viki’ is a combined word of Wikipedia’s ‘viki’ and video.

The streaming platform includes content from studios around the world, such as Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese dramas and movies, but mainly, their focus is on South Korean shows, dramas, and movies.

The content can be streamed on mobile and laptops with the help of an application or official website. The company uses people to manage the content, too. In January 2011, Rakuten Viki got the Crunchie Award for best international start-up.

There are some shows that are country-specific, but that can be watched with the help of a VPN service. Mostly, you will find dramas, but anime is also available on the platform.

The reach of the fans has grown to more than 70 million in more than 250 countries, The platform also develops Viki Originals like Dramaworld, which also won an award.

Rakuten Viki History

2007-2012 Starting History

Razmig Hovaghimian, Jiwon Moon, and Changseong Ho founded Viki in 2007. The seed funding for the company was sponsored by Neoteny Lane, which is a Singapore start-up fund managed by Joichi Ito and Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.

The company’s office was set up in Singapore in the year 2008 to take advantage of the government regulations and the city’s whole pan-Asian vibe. Later, in December 2010, Viki pulled the plug on its beta state and beta testers and made the platform open to the general public. Rakuten group noticed it and bought it in 2013.

The new iOS application known as Viki On-The-Go was released in September 2011, which gave users the freedom to enjoy the content on their smartphones.

To make an Android application, the company partnered with Samsung Southeast Asia the same year. In August 2011, the domain viki.com garnered 14 million unique viewers.

In October of the same year, Viki managed to raise $20 million from BCC Worldwide, Greylock Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz.

Later, in May 2012, Viki disclosed the deals with Taiwan’s SEED Music Group, Warner Music Group, and South Korea’s LOEN Entertainment.

This deal allowed them to bring thousands of music videos on their platform. In the same month, BBC Worldwide declared that they are extending their ongoing dealings with Viki by including a deal to work on the company’s advertising.

In July 2012, Viki made a non-exclusive deal with Renren, a social networking from China. The deal is to provide a video streaming site for Renren called VikiZone. The deal includes only selected Viki library, which is available for free to the public.


In the year after it was acquired by Rakuten, Viki rocketed from 22 million monthly viewers with 10 million on smartphones to 35 million monthly active viewers and 25 million mobile users.

The platform has a number of partners for bringing the original content to their site, including BBC Worldwide. The company has also made a deal to share its original shows with Netflix, Hulu, MSN, Yahoo!, NBC, A&E, with others, including Fuji TV in Japan, TVB in Hong Kong, America in Russia, and SBS in South Korea.

In 2020, Viki signed a non-exclusive deal with 815 Picture, which is an Orange County-based Distribution company.

The deal was to add 30 projects from the company to the site, including Mr. Zoo: The Missing VIP, A Violent Prosecutor, and Midnight Runners. But K.J. Lee, who is the managing partner in 815 Pictures, stated that this deal is more than just a licensing agreement.

Rakuten Viki Services

Viki is a streaming site that gives premium licensed shows, just like what HULU or Netflix does in U.S. markets. The platform then uploads the content on a channel where the subtitles are provided by the community volunteers.

Community members give subtitles to preferred videos in their language of choice under the Creative Commons Licence using Viki’s tech for giving subtitles; this gives individuals an opportunity to collaborate on a global level to work on numerous languages at once.

The subtitling technology or algorithm developed for the company allows many volunteers to give subtitles to a video in 160 languages.

Viki also gives its shows with the subtitles provided by the fans to other platform partners like Yahoo!, HULU, and Netflix and, in return, get revenues and payment from those distributors.

The site has more than subtitles for 200 languages, and approximately 50 of these languages are endangered, but still, they have subtitles for those as well, which is an amazing feat.

Viki Contributors

Who are these contributors, and what is their job? This is the most prominent question, and here is the answer. The subtitles that are attached to every show are made and curated by these enthusiastic and passionate contributor teams dedicated to bringing entertainment and making the viewing experience immersive for viewers around the world.

Viki’s qualified contributors, or QCs, are the most supportive and active community members of the platform. These contributions are given the tools to add to the Viki’s shows by using their knowledge and skills.

One can be a QC Trainee, QC (qualified contributor), or Gold QC, and each of these designations has additional perks with them.

QC Trainee has perks like special access to videos like Viki Originals. Qualified Contributor has access to videos, plus they also get a free subscription to Viki, badges on their profile for extra recognition, a certificate from Viki, opportunity to participate in order to win quarterly gifts.

Lastly, Gold QC gets all the aforementioned perks, plus they also qualify for getting end of the year’s grand prize.

Viki Genres

Viki is the platform that will fulfill all your drama hunger. There is anime available to stream. The streaming platform has a forte in Asian content, with a dedicated section that only has Korean shows.

You can be confident about any new Korean show that will be released on Viki. It has more than 1100 shows with more than 300 movie titles and service’s original shows that are available to stream on the official site and on iOS and Android applications as well.

The streaming site also airs live shows with multiple subtitles languages. It’s a go-to for Asian dramas and many highly rated dramas such as What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, which came out in 2018 with more than 486,000 ratings; True Beauty, which came out in 2020 with more than 410,000 ratings; while You Were Sleep aired in 2017 with more than 290,000 ratings are available to stream.

Popular Shows

Other popular K-dramas like Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, Happiness, My Love From The Star, and many more are also available to Viki. All of these shows are available in the native language with a range of subtitles from multiple languages.

Other than the original shows, the library is simulcasted. Most of the K-dramas shows are made in Asia and South Korea. The production houses are making sure to deliver the best drama possible, and we can see that they’re delivering good quality shows because of the popularity and famed gained by these Korean shows worldwide.

It stands out when it comes to a collection of handpicked curated TV shows, for instance, shows like Squid Games or other popular K-dramas like Legend of the Blue Sea for someone who is just beginning into the K-dramas space.

Rakuten Viki offers an option to stream the content freely by watching advertisements, but some of the content is limited with this option. To unlock the whole library, one can subscribe; after subscription, the content is ad-free.

Viki’s Social Media

In terms of promoting its original show and its library, it has a deep presence on all of the social media channels. Viki’s YouTube channel, Viki Global TV has more than 2.7 million subscribers.

It promotes the shows by uploading trailers and snippets with English subtitles. Popular videos are kissing scenes or action scenes that give a glimpse of what the show has to offer.

Viki’s Instagram has reels, posts, and interviews of the actors from the shows. Their Instagram account has been available since 2012, and currently, they have more than 1.5 million followers. Viki’s Twitter account has more than 400,000 followers and Viki’s Facebook page has more than 11 million followers with a similar type of content as Instagram.

On their official platform, you will see behind-the-scenes clips, cast interviews, or the first table readout, which are mostly in their native languages; some of this is also available on their YouTube.

Viki’s Sister Site

Soompi Viki’s sister site has mostly fun content discussing the featured shows. Viki acquired Soompi back in August 2015. It’s an English news site that covers the Asian entertainment industry in general. Soompi’s social networks are totally separated from Viki’s, and each has its own separate social media handles.

Viki Original shows

On Viki, there are some original shows that have been very popular around the world. Some of the popular shows are Thirty But Seventeen, Where Your Eyes Linger, To My Star, Devilish Joy, You Make Me Dance, Imitation, So I Married the Anti-Fan, and many others.

These shows have attracted an audience to the platform, and these are the top-rated originals on the platform. But irrespective of this, you can watch any show as Viki’s library is full of amazing shows.

Top Rated Shows on Viki as per IMDb

There are many genres on the streaming platform that have hit shows that have been entertaining the fans for many years now. Some of the highly-rated shows as per IMDb are Weak Hero Class 1 (2022) with 8.5 IMDb ratings, Love Between Fairy and Devil (2022) with 8.5 IMDb ratings, Falling Into Your Smile (2021) with 8.2 IMDb ratings, Semantic Error (2022) with 8.6 IMDb ratings and Till the End of the Moon (2023) with 8.3 IMDb ratings.

Watch for Free

There are very few streaming platforms that allow users to watch shows for free without charging any money. Rakuten Viki allows viewers to enjoy some of the shows absolutely free without paying anything.

There is a small catch: You will not get the full library of Rakuten Viki, which is understandable. You won’t be able to watch shows in full HD, and you may have to watch an advert here and there to enjoy the free shows.

All these caveats are manageable for someone who is just exploring the Korean drama space for the first time. You can always get a subscription to unlock the full library.

Some of the free shows are Fireworks of My Heart, When I Fly Towards You, Love in the Air, My Girlfriend is an Alien and many others. You can check them all here.

Viki’s Subscriptions

It is evident the popularity has grown multifold because of the good shows on the platform. So, to compete with other streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, etc..

Viki also has a subscription-based model for new users. You can also enjoy the content for free by watching the advertisements, but not all the shows are available.

A subscription is the best way to appreciate the platform and help the makers. It also takes care of the piracy and theft.

As per the latest numbers, it has more than 60 million registered users. If you’re planning to get a subscription, do not worry. Each of the countries has a different pricing model so that you can go for it without any hassle.

To unlock all the shows, you can get a monthly pass, which is of two types: Standard Pass is $6/month, and Viki Plus Pass is $10/month.

The standard subscription pass has HD, Viki original shows, and even exclusive standard dramas are also available to the subscriber.

The more premium Viki Plus Pass has everything that the Standard Pass offers, plus it gives the subscriber the ability to download the content for offline viewing on the go in cases of a network problem.

Additionally, it also offers countless hours of additional watch time and shows. Each of the plans has a 7-day trial period, which is free. There’s also an option to rent the movies for $2-$3 per movie.

Currently, Viki doesn’t allow multiple users to stream at the same time per account; this means that you can only watch one show at a time.

You can register freely just to follow your favorite actors and shows and curate a watch list if you get any of the two subscriptions. Viki is available on major channel distributors.

Supporting Devices

Viki is available on all the devices that are being used frequently. It supports all smartphones, such as Androids, and iOS/iPads.

On Android’s Play Store, it has more than 50 million downloads. It is also available for anyone who likes to enjoy the shows with their family.

Viki is available on major channel distributors such as Roku, on web browsers, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and other providers.

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