The scales of entertainment consumption loudly shifted last year. But if you didn’t hear a thing, it was probably because you were busy streaming TV shows. Thanks to the rapidly growing popularity of streaming TV, media analysts now predict the end of discs and cable subscriptions as a new age of streaming shows and movies makes its mark on a worldwide Internet-savvy audience.
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Interestingly, streaming TV is making it easier for people across the globe to enjoy their favorite shows, no matter where they were produced. Even as recently as 10 years ago, if you lived in the United States, the UK, or Europe, it was almost impossible to access shows from Asia or Africa. Oftentimes, expatriates, second-generation immigrants, and other fans would have to go without their favorite entertainment. Now, thanks to entrepreneurial Americans and Britons of Japanese, Korean, and Nigerian descent (among others), more and more shows from around the world are becoming internationally available.
DramaFever, founded by Seung Bak and Suk Park of Manhattan, has become the largest and most prominent distributor of Korean television shows outside of Asia in the five years since its inception. Crunchyroll, co-founded by Californian Kun Gao, streams anime content to users in the United States and elsewhere. And iROKOtv.com*, Jason Njoku’s web site, streams free Nigerian movies to viewers in the UK, United States, and other countries.
It’s clear that international markets are opening up to streaming digital content as companies that specialize in licensing regulations are hard at work. And it’s not only relatively small, new start-ups doing business. Larger companies recognize the huge market for international television shows and movies, as well. Recently, Hulu announced its expansion into Japan. And Netflix, Hulu's big rival, is now available in Canada as well as the US.
Though many international viewers will still have to contact their local cable provider and TV networks to find out what streaming options are available to them, below are some of the most popular web sites dedicated to streaming digital content.
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