North Korea recently launched a video-on-demand service for TV viewers there. What’s called, you ask? Manbang. Yes, you read correctly. Here are five facts about the DPRK’s new streaming service:
“Manbang” is a Korean term meaning “everywhere” or “every direction.” There are obviously some different connotations for that word in English. Reps for Netflix said recently they were bummed they didn’t think of the name first.
It is supposed to work just like Apple TV or Netflix, just with far less viewing options. Users can live stream a total of five channels, all of which are controlled by the state-sponsored KCTV.
Viewers will be able to follow along with the activities of Kim Jong Un, as well as learn English and Russian through Manbang. State-sanctioned news and articles from the official newspaper will also be available. No word if The Interview with Seth Rogen will be up on Manbang any time soon.
North Korean TV is one of the most strictly controlled media in the world. After his bodyguards’ faces were shown on state TV, Kim Jong Un cancelled 80 percent of programming and replaced it with patriotic music.
It’s hard to say whether Manbang will be a hit in North Korea, considering the rolling blackouts and very limited internet access. Out of a population of 25 million, only a few thousand state-approved citizens can go on the internet.
In case you’re curious, skim the video below if you want a taste what Manbang is like.