Disney+ announced its entry into Asian content, with new shows from Australia, South Korea and Japan
owner Disney+ announced a major expansion of Asian content on Thursday, with plans to green-light more than 50 original titles from the region by 2023.
Disney is commissioning new shows from South Korea, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Indonesia. Many programs will be offered in local languages, from Bahasa Indonesia to Mandarin.
Jessica Kam-Engle, Disney’s head of content and development for Asia Pacific, noted the popularity of Korean content in a presentation shown to media Thursday, saying it has “evolved into a global phenomenon.”
The platform currently has more than 116 million subscribers in 61 markets around the world, including eight in the Asia-Pacific region, such as India, Australia and New Zealand.
Executives are now preparing for more launches, with it expected to debut in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan next month.
To kick start each market, Hollywood heavyweights will rely on the help of local creators, according to Luke Kang, the company’s president for Asia Pacific.
“Consumers across the region are increasingly demanding the best global content and the best in the local language,” he said.
Disney wants to combine the two by drawing on its ancient history and its current army of talent, which includes designs from Pixar and Marvel. The company on Thursday announced plans to connect hundreds of Asian creators with global Disney directors and producers through master classes, live panels and other activities.
“I think we’re at an inflection point,” Kang said. “Broadcasting is quickly becoming mainstream, and Disney+ is well positioned to play a central role.”