During a special presentation at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Disney EMEA Production Exec Liam Keelan spoke about his future plans for Disney+ across Europe, The Middle East and Africa.
With Disney+ launching just as the UK was going into a national lockdown, it provided an opportunity that Disney is trying to make the most of.
“It was one of the few benefits of Covid. We had that captive audience and it helped people out with young kids during lockdown.”
Since that launch, Disney+ has continued to grow, especially with the addition of the Star general entertainment brand, which has brought much more content to the streaming service, including shows like “Grey’s Anatomy”, “The Walking Dead” and many more.
“I want Disney+ to be a one stop shop in terms of general entertainment, with something for everyone. That’s been the aim and certainly will be the majority of the focus in commissioning terms going forward.”
With launching Disney+ across Europe, Disney has announced it’s planning on making 50 Originals by 2024, which is being done for multiple reasons. The main one is that there are rules in place, which require streaming services to have a certain percentage of its shows made within Europe to help protect its industry. With another major advantage being that local original content can also be a huge draw for subscribers. Liam explained:
“It’s really important that we give a local flavour to the service in each of our main markets…Our main markets are UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain with some other markets joining quite soon. We’re commissioning unscripted and scripted pieces across all those territories, looking to commission 50 originals a year by 2024.”
There have been many new shows already announced to be coming to Disney+ such as “The Ballad of Renegade Nell”, “Nautilus”, “Wedding Season”, “Extraordinary” and many more, that are being made within Europe.
During the event, Liam explained what he was looking for:
“It will have a particular tone of voice, feel quite authored, will have something to say above and beyond, it may be a twist on the genre, things that are going to bring attention to the service. It’s about making sure that anything we commission hits the quality that we’ve already got from shows coming through from the US. It’s having something that appeals to differences in the market. We know how competitive it is out there. The Disney brand will bring audiences in, but you need to do more than that.”
Balancing the requirements of creating local content for Disney+ and the needs of the larger corporation aren’t always easy, and Liam explained:
“There’s got to be a certain tone of voice, and something very particular that marries those commissions together. There’s a very broad palette there at the moment. What I and the team will be doing going forward is getting those shows that really have that particular feel to them.”
The success of Disney+ around the world needs to rely on creating more content for different people and reaching different subscribers. Also, having a mixture of original content representing people from all places of the world is also important, because not everyone relates to being in a high school in Los Angeles or downtown New York. Netflix and Amazon are also heavily investing in local content, and this looks no sign of slowing down.
Are you looking forward to seeing more localised content on Disney+?
Source – Deadline.