Disney+ Streaming Service Is Planning a Big Global Expansion
Expansion Will Double the Number of Countries With Access to Disney+
Disney (DIS) is planning to expand its Disney+ streaming service to 42 more countries and territories spanning Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. The launch is planned for this summer, and the larger goal is to double the number of countries where Disney+ is available by 2023.
Since launching in the US, Canada, and Netherlands in 2019, Disney+ has expanded to places like Brazil, the UK, and Singapore, among other spots. This expansion will provide residents in over 160 countries with the ability to access all Disney+ content. Disney will create a new division, the International Content and Operations Group, to support these efforts.
Upwards of 700 Million People Will Eventually Have Access to Disney+
It’s unclear when Disney+ will roll out in some larger expansion markets such as Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Iraq, and South Africa. These five countries alone account for nearly half of the 700 million new people who will eventually have access to the streaming service. Price points and service providers that will partner with Disney are also a mystery as of now.
Disney’s content catalog is massive and includes some of the television and film industry’s biggest successes such as Star Wars, the bulk of Marvel films, and the Frozen movies. Disney acknowledges content availability will vary across some regions depending on streaming rights.
China Is Notably Absent From Disney+ Expansion Plan
Disney did not announce any plans to expand its streaming service into China, even though the country is one of the world’s largest entertainment markets. Other US streaming services have followed a similar track. For example, Netflix (NFLX) has yet to push into the Chinese market.
Industry observers say there’s a number of reasons why Western streaming services are absent in China. For one, Beijing tightly regulates the types of content that are allowed to be distributed in the country. Competition would also be tight, considering the popularity of Chinese streaming service iQiyi. Disney may have to wait for a bite of Chinese entertainment, but this expansion plan certainly leaves plenty on its plate.
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