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Disney + announces surge in Asian content, with new shows from Australia, South Korea and Japan

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.

The move comes as fans around the world continue to buzz for “Squid Game,” a South Korean hit by Netflix (NFLX) which has become the best business show in the world. The streaming king told CNN Business exclusively this week that he has been viewed by 111 million accounts since its launch in September, making it the launch of the company’s “biggest ever” series.
Netflix has invested money in original Asian-language content, and the streaming service has touted the worldwide success of its Korean and Japanese programs. He also had success with European series, including “Lupine”, a French thriller.

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.”

To capture that interest, the company released a preview of its own roster of upcoming Korean shows, including “Snowdrop,” a romantic drama series starring Jisoo, a member of popular K-pop group Blackpink.
Disney (SAY) declined to share how much their new investment in original content would cost.
The company didn’t launch Disney +, its flagship streaming service, until late 2019, but it has so far impressed analysts and investors.

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.

Disney + announces surge in Asian content, with new shows from Australia, South Korea and Japan

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.”