Serving up Asian content for S’porean viewers

Diverse selection in many languages

Viki’s home page is full of a variety of shows in different languages. There are programmes from countries like China and South Korea.
Viki’s home page is full of a variety of shows in different languages. There are programmes from countries like China and South Korea.PHOTO: VIKI

www.viki.com

Type of shows: The majority of shows on the site are from South Korea, Japan and China, although there are also programmes from other countries like the US, Philippines and Thailand.

Platforms: Web, Android, iOS, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast, Xbox 360, Kindle, Google TV , Firefox OS and Roku

VPN needed: No

Premium membership: US$3.99 a month via credit card

Singapore-based video streaming service Viki was founded in 2007, and now has offices in San Francisco, Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai.

It was acquired by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten for $200 million in September 2013. The site specialises in content that is subtitled into a wide variety of languages. There are approximately 200 languages available, including even Cornish, Latvian and Kurdish.

The videos on the site are licensed by Viki. Producing a subtitled video is done by a community of volunteers, who distribute different tasks among themselves, including segmenting (cutting a video into short parts), subtitling and captioning.

Viki in turn syndicates the fan-generated subtitles to partners such as Hulu and Netflix.

The home page of Viki is full of a variety of shows in different languages. Aside from the usual suspects like China, Taiwan and South Korea, there are also shows from the Philippines and Thailand.

Even a quick search for "Singapore" throws up some content, like Delilah, Before, a short film directed by Melanie Schiele, as well as an episode of The Kitchen Musical, a musical drama series directed by Chee Kong Cheah.

Although there are Hollywood movies on Viki, there are not that many up-to-date titles. Instead, expect to find classics like The Lone Ranger and The Last Of The Mohicans.

Fans of Viki can also buy the premium Viki Pass for ad-free viewing, higher resolution videos, and access to more content and features.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline 'Diverse selection in many languages'. Print Edition | Subscribe