The Walt Disney Company announced that its streaming service Disney+ will launch in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan in November 2021. Disney+ Japan will also further expand its offerings and will feature additional general entertainment content in October 2021.
The announcement was made on the sidelines of Walt Disney’s third-quarter earnings filings and had been widely expected since Disney last year outlined an expansion roadmap for the service. The addition of the three mature Asian markets should provide yet another subscriber boost for the growing direct-to-consumer service, which beat analyst estimates during its third-quarter earnings report, adding 13 million subscribers for a total of 116 million, one million more than was expected.
“The response towards Disney+ across Asia Pacific has exceeded our expectations, as consumers seek diverse entertainment content and are drawn to our portfolio of brands and franchises,” said The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific president Luke Kang. “We are pleased with the subscriber growth and partnerships forged in markets, and look forward to engaging with more consumers across the region – through unparalleled storytelling, creative excellence and cutting-edge content delivery.”
Analysis firm Media Partners Asia forecasts that Disney+ will be able to achieve close to five million subscribers in these three markets by the end of 2022. It forecasts that revenues could hit an annualized $330 million by that point.
“Disney+ has helped grow the SVOD category meaningfully wherever they have launched or added the Star GE brand across Asia Pacific over the past year,” commented Media Partners Asia executive director of regional consultancy Vivek Couto. The forthcoming Asia launches and the expansion in Japan “are important catalysts for a number of things,” added Couto, “including higher ARPU subscriber growth, material investment into premium Korean storytelling and Japanese live-action, as well as a real SVOD window for Disney’s entertainment franchises for the first time — especially in South Korea.”
In Thailand, the streaming service has topped app store charts since its launch on 30 June, and in Indonesia and Malaysia, it sits as a leading SVOD service.
Disney+ is currently available in 61 countries and 21 languages across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Within the Asia-Pacific region Disney’s streaming service is currently available in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore, where it is branded as Disney+, and in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand where it is branded as Disney+ Hotstar.