K-pop stars, paranormal romance and high school were among the most popular themes to appear in Asian dramas in 2022, according to Asian entertainment platform Rakuten Viki.
Rakuten Viki, which holds the largest collection of Asian content for both free and subscription streaming, unveiled the latest viewership insights in its Year-in-Review report published on Tuesday alongside its first annual viewer poll.
The platform’s most-watched show across global territories in 2022 was South Korea’s “Love in Contract,” starring Park Min Young (“What’s Wrong With My Secretary Kim”) and Go Kyung Pyo (“Reply 1988”). “Sh**ting Stars,” which is also from South Korea and stars Lee Sung-kyung (“Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo”) and Kim Young-dae (“Extraordinary You”), came in second place.
Aside from high school or college (24 series titles), K-pop stars (20 series titles) and paranormal romance (23 series titles), Rakuten Viki also found elements of law and order (22 series titles), medical themes (four series titles) and mystical animals (six series titles) to be popular in K-dramas, C-dramas and Taiwanese dramas that debuted in 2022. “Season of Blossom” (South Korea), “Being a Hero” (China), “49 Days With a Merman” (Taiwan), “My Chilling Roommate” (South Korea), “Dear.M” (South Korea) and “The Oath of Love” (China) were among this year’s dramas that launched in the platform.
Rakuten Viki’s Year-in-Review also unveiled this year’s most-searched Asian celebrities, top translation languages and viewer habits. South Korean actors Lee Jong Suk (“School 2013”) and Park Min Young (“What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?”) were the most searched on the platform.
Of Rakuten Viki’s viewers in 2022, 75% were non-Asian. The top language its programs were translated into was English, followed by Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and French.
Interestingly, the platform had the most viewership on New Year’s Day. Throughout the year, most viewers watched from their mobile devices (72%), while 19% watched on laptops and 9% watched on traditional TV.
Rakuten Viki’s first annual viewer poll focused on why viewers watch Asian content and asked fun questions such as “Which K-drama star would you want to take to dinner?” and “What American series would you want to see made into a K-drama series?” The top answer to the former was Park Seo Joon of “Itaewon Class” (48%), while the top answer to the latter was NBC’s “Friends.” Meanwhile, a whopping 74% of viewers said they wanted to see Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s romance turned into a K-drama.
Jaehee Hong, Rakuten Viki’s vice president of content, welcomed the findings with excitement.
“Asian content continues to be hotter than ever, and as many of our data and poll findings indicate, has truly become an integral part of the global cultural zeitgeist. It’s exciting to see an Asian series like Love In Contract become a huge hit around the world, or hear from our Viki viewers about their favorite Hollywood stars and shows they would like to see get the K-Drama treatment. Rakuten Viki has been with viewers even before fandom around Asian content really started to heat up and we can’t wait to see what comes next,” Hong said in a statement.
While K-dramas continued to be Rakuten Viki’s most-viewed content in 2022, more viewers than ever were reportedly watching Japanese shows. With consistent additions to its Japanese content, the platform said it saw a 40% increase in its viewership year-over-year.
Rakuten Viki currently offers free (with advertising and limits on some content) and tiered subscriptions starting from $4.99 per month. It is available on desktop browsers, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV Plus, Android TV, Chromecast and on mobile devices.
Featured Image via Rakuten Viki