Looks like the fully pre-produced and simultaneous airing in China strategy has paid off for KBS drama Descendants of the Sun. Therewere few more upcoming K-dramas going that route even before the numbers for DotS came in but now they can feel a tad more secure that this isn’t a fool’s errand. No guarantee that future dramas doing this can repeat or surpass DotS’s success but it’s now shown to be worth the shot. In addition to doing well domestically, with a 14.3% AGN nationwide rating for episode 1, the simultaneous airing of DotS in China exclusively on web streaming site iQiyi broke records with the first episode racking up 26 million (26,000,000) views in 24 hours. Wowsers.
With SARFT banning online streaming of K-dramas live since January of 2015 last year unless it went through the usual approval process, which required the drama to be fully completed in filming, it’s hard to compare numbers since DotS is the first to live air in this new regulation era. But 26 million online eyeballs in 24 hours in China is incredibly successful in and of itself. The Chinese audience feedback has also been positive and highly buzzy, with compliments for the high quality cinematography, slick directing, and fast-paced plot development. Song Joong Ki appears to be garnering the lion’s share of feedback, with C-netizens calling for this drama to have a name change or tagline that reads “Song Joong Ki’s 100 savvy no fail ways to pick up a girl”. LOL.