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Disney+ launches

Disney + decks Netflix. I cannot say this enough. To be frank, I prefer Amazon Prime to Netflix; comparison might be a bit unfair as I have content that paid for.
 

dr_shadow

Moderator
Moderator
The Walt Disney Co. revealed Thursday that Disney+ will launch in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan in November 2021. The addition of the three mature Asian markets should provide yet another subscriber uptick for the nascent direct-to-consumer service, which during its third-quarter earnings report this week, adding 13 million subscribers for a total of 116 million, 1 million more than was expected.

Disney+ is currently available in Asia in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Disney said Thursday that average monthly revenue per paid user (ARPU) for Disney+ fell to $4.16 from $4.62 a year earlier, due to the recent launch in the past year in lower-cost emerging markets like Southeast Asia.

But the company said Disney+ will be expanded in Japan in October to feature additional general entertainment content from the Star brand. The addition of the three mature markets of South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, combined with the expansion in Japan, where subscription fees resemble the U.S. market, should help boost ARPUs in Asia in the quarters ahead.

“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 Vivek Couto, executive director of regional consultancy Media Partners Asia. 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.”

Disney’s third-quarter earnings came in strong across the board Thursday, with the entertainment giant reporting revenue of $17 billion. The market consensus had been for revenues of $16.8 billion. Earnings per share were 80 cents, blowing past the estimate of $55 cents. The company’s stock was up more than 10 percent in after-market trading.

The company’s theme parks business, by far the most battered segment by the pandemic, swung to a profit for the first time since COVID-19 emerged, drawing revenue of $4.3 billion and income of $356 million. Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said Disney World is now operating at or near capacity, but she acknowledged that the Delta variant of the coronavirus has introduced some uncertainty to the outlook for theatrical filmgoing, theme parks and the cruise ship business.

“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 Luke Kang, president of The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific. “We are pleased with the subscriber growth and partnerships forged in markets, and look forward to engaging with more consumers across the region.”



:yay

As I've said earlier in the thread, launching in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan is probably the nearest Disney+ will get to reaching the "China" market.

The mainland has so far been very suspicious of foreign streaming services, with Netflix and Amazon still locked out five years after they both launched in HK, MC, and TW. Instead the preferred workaround has been that the streamers distribute their original content (such as House of Cards) via an indigenous mainland streamer, such as iQiyi for Netflix.

But having a presence in the periphery of China at least gives a psychological closeness, both for the streamer ("we're doing the best we can") and us consumers ("they're doing the best they can"). It also means that those mainland residents with VPN access to HK, MC, and TW will have faster load times and also access to Chinese-language subtitles.
 

Mider T

Apples and Bananers


:yay

As I've said earlier in the thread, launching in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan is probably the nearest Disney+ will get to reaching the "China" market.

The mainland has so far been very suspicious of foreign streaming services, with Netflix and Amazon still locked out five years after they both launched in HK, MC, and TW. Instead the preferred workaround has been that the streamers distribute their original content (such as House of Cards) via an indigenous mainland streamer, such as iQiyi for Netflix.

But having a presence in the periphery of China at least gives a psychological closeness, both for the streamer ("we're doing the best we can") and us consumers ("they're doing the best they can"). It also means that those mainland residents with VPN access to HK, MC, and TW will have faster load times and also access to Chinese-language subtitles.
 

dr_shadow

Moderator
Moderator
When it comes to Netflix, we can see that it's available in all of mainland China's neighboring territories except North Korea, and as just mentioned the Netflix original content is distributed by iQiyi, so it's pretty much as "available" as it can be without being available. They're giving you the best possible conditions to find some workaround or another, whether it's VPN, physically going to a neighboring territory, or accepting the censored iQiyi version.
 

dr_shadow

Moderator
Moderator
Taiwan launch on November 12, Hong Kong launch on November 16. No word on Macau, but I should assume it's at the same time as Hong Kong, otherwise it would make no sense.

 

dr_shadow

Moderator
Moderator
Going to start taking trips to Hong Kong to watch Marvel movies?

Lol. Hopefully I can just VPN, but yeah, if all else fails I can physically go.

(Not all ExpressVPN servers work in mainland China, so the more servers you have to choose from the better. If you can manage to get a connection to an East Asian territory, the speed is also of course faster than if you're connecting to somewhere on the other side of the world)

The most important outside territory to us here in Zhuhai is Macau, though, since we actually have a land border. You can literally just walk across on impulse (with a short customs check). Whereas going to Hong Kong requires either a one-hour ferry ride or a half-hour drive across the world's longest bridge, both of which cost more and require more advance planning.

Psychologically, too, Macau is "our" Special Administrative Region, because the city of Zhuhai was more or less constructed for the express purpose of trading with Portuguese Macau. Like how Shenzhen was constructed for trading with British Hong Kong.
 

dr_shadow

Moderator
Moderator
It's out in Taiwan now, so Disney+ has made its first inroad into Greater China.

Hong Kong coming on Tuesday. Macau still to be determined.
 
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