With all of the emerging Korean television streaming services now dominating the market, is a Kocowa subscription worth it in 2022?
Note: I received a free trial of the Kocowa app in exchange for an honest review.
There are so many different streaming services available to choose from in this age, each having its own merit and perks for subscribing to its community.
So, what exactly makes Kocowa different from every other streaming service on the market? For one, Kocowa is bringing quality and diverse Korean television to a global audience by catering to the Americas.
What Is Kocowa?
Kocowa was born through a collaboration between the top three Korean broadcasters (KBS, MBC, SBS) along with SK Telecom to launch a joint company called wA. The Kocowa streaming platform was launched by wA in the Americas in 2017.
Visit the Kocowa website.
Is Kocowa Legit?
Yes, Kocowa is a legit and legal streaming service where you can safely watch your favorite Korean television shows.
The Kocowa app offers programming available in real-time after broadcasts and boasts the largest library of Korean content available in the Americas. The app is available in Canada, Brazil, North, Central, and South America.
English, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitle options are available for most shows depending on your geographical location.
Can You Watch Kocowa on Tv?
Yes, I have been viewing Kdrama and variety shows by watching Kocowa through my Roku streaming device. You can find assorted Korean dramas, variety shows, reality tv, movies, and Kpop ‘music chart shows’ on the app.
The Kocowa app is available for streaming through partners like Apple, Google, Roku, Samsung, LG Smart TVs, OnDemandKorea, and even Amazon Prime Video.
Where Can You Watch Korean Variety Shows?
Kocowa frequently releases new and interesting app-exclusive Korean content to its library. Kocowa has timeless fan-favorite variety shows like Running Man and Home Alone available for legal streaming.
While trying the streaming service out I really enjoyed watching episodes of the My Little Old Boy variety show due to the interactions between guests and hosts of different ages. It was nice hearing the shift in honorifics and seeing older ladies and actresses get the spotlight they deserve.
I remember many years ago the only way fans could watch variety shows was through fansubs on YouTube or on unsavory websites. I was in awe at being able to see an accurately-subtitled variety show of high quality. Plus, it helps that I’ve always had an interest in this type of programming due to the history and culture that can be learned just by watching.
I also checked out a few episodes of 2 Days and 1 Night, which happens to be another Korean variety show. And I even managed to learn about the Korean national holiday Chuseok, and what foods are traditionally eaten during the Autumn festival. There was a segment in the form of a game where I gained an understanding of common idioms within Korean culture – which was cool, to say the least ☺.
Korean Reality Shows
Did you know that the American TV series The Masked Singer is based on the original Korean singing competition The King of Mask Singer? Kocowa boasts a robust lineup of Korean reality shows like Master in the House and socially-conscious shows like United Fathers, and Oh Eun Young’s Report: Marriage Hell that offers insights into Korean sensibilities and morality not easily discerned by simply watching Kdrama.
Series like Love Recall and the steaming service-exclusive Merry Queer which shows the first LGBTQ+ reality dating show in South Korea are also available to watch.
What Shows Are On Kocowa?
Kocowa has exclusive hit dramas such as It’s Beautiful Now, Tracer, Boar Hunt, and No Thank You. Their Kdrama streaming library also features old favorites and critically acclaimed films like Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo, Cold Eyes, The Law Café, Gold Mask, The Secret House, and The Penthouse.
What I really liked about this selection is that there are a few dramas and soaps that are longer than the now standard 16-episode format. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen that on any other streaming service, and it reminded me of years prior when you had to literally hunt down websites and fansub video locations just to finish a long-running series.
My first-ever Kdrama was Boys Over Flowers and in 2009 there were hardly any options for finding drama unless you were ‘in the know’. It’s really amazing how much has changed concerning Kdrama accessibility and its growing enthusiasm with each new Korean Wave.
Kpop and Music Chart Shows
I’ll admit that while I generally have no interest in Kpop, even I was able to find something captivating while surfing through the app. Maybe it’s because I’m more of a K-Indie fan, but I really enjoyed watching episodes of SBS Inkigayo.
The show had a feel very reminiscent of early MTV programming, and I liked the whole high school aesthetic theme where Kpop fans voted for the ‘kings’ and ‘queens’ of the week in form of music bands and solo artists. The ‘Hot Solo Debut’ of ‘Midnight Driver’ by Im Yoon Seong was stuck in my head all day after watching his performance.
Is Kocowa Worth It?
I can honestly say that Kocowa is worth a subscription in 2022.
While I primarily watch Netflix Kdrama due to the ease and accessibility, it was nice to venture out and watch variety shows and app-exclusive shows I otherwise would not have seen. Certain shows definitely can be watched for free on Kocowa, but to get the whole experience a subscription is necessary.
If you are someone who watches Korean dramas passively, maybe this wouldn’t be a great fit for you. But if you want to know more about Korean pop culture and see actors, celebrity personalities, and idols in intimate reality TV settings outside of interviews and red carpets, Kocowa would be a great streaming service for you.
But, tell me your thoughts.
Have you tried Kocowa’s streaming service yourself?
Are you a fan of Korean reality and variety TV shows?
Do you prefer Kpop or K-Indie music?
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