The move comes as fans worldwide continue to buzz over "Squid Game," a South Korean hit from Netflix (NFLX) that has become the company's top show globally. The streaming king Business exclusively this week that it had been viewed by 111 million accounts since its rollout in September, making it the company's "biggest-ever" series launch.
Netflix has been pouring money into original Asian language content, and the streaming service has touted the global success of its Korean and Japanese programs. It's also had hits with European series, including "Lupin," a French mystery thriller.
To capture that interest, the company unveiled a sneak peek of its own slate of upcoming Korean shows, including "Snowdrop," a romantic drama series starring Jisoo, a member of the popular K-pop band Blackpink.
Disney (DIS) declined to share how much its new investment in original content would cost. The company only launched Disney+, its flagship streaming service, in late 2019, but it has impressed analysts and investors so far.
The platform currently has more than 116 million subscribers across 61 markets around the world, including eight in the Asia Pacific region, such as India, Australia, and New Zealand. Luke Kang, president of the Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific, during a presentation shown Thursday.
Executives are now gearing up for more launches, with debuts in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan expected next month. To blitz each market, the Hollywood heavyweight will be relying on the help of local creators, according to Luke Kang, the company's president in the Asia Pacific.
"Consumers across the region are increasingly demanding the best of global and the best of local language content," he said. Disney wants to combine the two by leaning into its storied history and an existing army of talent, which include creatives from Pixar and Marvel. The company announced plans Thursday to connect hundreds of Asian creators to Disney's global executives and producers through masterclasses, live panels, and other activities.
"I believe we are at an inflection point," said Kang. "Streaming is quickly going mainstream, and Disney+ is well placed to play a central role."