The owner of Disney + announced a major expansion in Asian content on Thursday, with plans to give the green light to more than 50 original titles from the region by 2023.
Disney is commissioning new shows in South Korea, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Indonesia. Many programs will be presented in local languages, from Bahasa Indonesian to Mandarin.
Jessica Kam-Engle, Disney’s content and development manager for Asia-Pacific, noted the popularity of Korean content in a presentation to the media Thursday, saying it had “become a global phenomenon.”
The platform currently has over 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 gearing up for further launches, with debuts in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan expected next month.
To bombard every market, the Hollywood heavyweight will rely on help from local creators, according to Luke Kang, the company’s president in Asia-Pacific.
“Consumers across the region are increasingly demanding the best of global content and the best of local language content,” he said.
Disney wants to combine the two by building on its history and existing talent army, which includes creatives from Pixar and Marvel. The company on Thursday announced plans to connect hundreds of Asian creators with global Disney executives and producers through masterclasses, live panels and other activities.
“I believe we are at an inflection point,” Kang said. “Streaming is going mainstream quickly and Disney + is well positioned to play a pivotal role.”