Owner of Disney+ announced a major expansion of Asian content on Thursday, and plans to give the green light to more than 50 original works in the region by 2023.
Disney is commissioning new shows from South Korea, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Indonesia. Many shows will be presented in local languages, from Indonesian to Mandarin.
Jessica Kam-Engle, head of content and development for Disney’s Asia Pacific region, pointed to the popularity of Korean content in a presentation to the media on Thursday, saying it “has evolved into a global phenomenon.”
The platform currently has more than 116 million users in 61 markets around the world, of which 8 are located in the Asia-Pacific region, such as India, Australia and New Zealand.
Executives are now preparing to launch more products, which are expected to debut in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan next month.
The company’s Asia Pacific president Lu Ke Kang said that in order to hit every market, Hollywood heavyweights will rely on the help of local creators.
“Consumers in the region increasingly demand the best global and best local language content,” he said.
Disney hopes to combine the two by leveraging its legendary history and existing talent pool (including creatives from Pixar and Marvel). The company announced on Thursday that it plans to connect hundreds of Asian creators with Disney’s global executives and producers through master classes, on-site panel discussions and other events.
“I believe we are at an inflection point,” Kang said. “Streaming media is rapidly becoming mainstream, and Disney+ can play a central role well.”