This week, Dan Koeppen, who is the President of The Walt Disney Company in Europe, the Middle East and Africa took part in a presentation at Deloitte’s Media & Telecoms 2024 and Beyond Conference.

During this presentation, Dan revealed some information about how Disney+ is performing within the region, including that there are now tens of millions of subscribers across the region and that half of the households with Disney+ are without children.

While the Disney brand is often connected with kids’ films and Disney+ is very established as one of the leading streaming services with more high-quality content for kids, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that Disney+ is popular with households without kids. Since the introduction of the Star hub in 2021 has seen Disney shift its focus within the region to promote its general entertainment offerings like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Bear”, in addition to the latest headline shows from Marvel and Star Wars.

“Disney+ is a product with broad appeal – and this of course, has a lot to do with the wide variety of content that we offer.”

It was revealed that “Shōgun” has been very popular within the EMEA region and has been the most viewed general entertainment series premiere ever.

Dan also revealed that the U.K. unscripted original “Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story” is the second most-watched unscripted series in the U.K. after “The Kardashians.”

While Disney’s focus is still on theatrical releases and Disney+, it still views linear broadcasting as important, which is why they’ve been making licensing deals with many of the British broadcasters such as BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and UKTV. Over the past year, Disney has licensed out some original shows like “Extraoridnary”, “Under The Banner Of Heaven”, “Love Victor” and “A Small Light”, on a non-exclusive basis, so they remain on Disney+.

“Not only does this generate revenue, it also helps to build awareness of key titles. We believe strongly that the breadth of our business is a key source of advantage. It brings strength, resilience and opportunity.”

During the presentation, Disney revealed that since 2019, it has spent £3.5B ($4.5B) on creating 41 shows and 29 films, in addition to over 90 National Geographic documentaries in the United Kingdom since 2019. Which has supported more than 32,000 jobs in the UK. Some of the recent productions in the UK include “Deadpool & Wolverine”, “Andor”, “Loki” and “Renegade Nell”.

“Whenever I’m at Pinewood, what makes the biggest impression on me is the scale of the operation, the diversity of skills.  We’re talking about thousands of people, all part of the wider ecosystem. And on every single production, there are trainees getting experience to begin their careers in film and TV; all part of Disney’s long-term commitment to the U.K.”

Dan Koeppen also teased that there would be more improvements to streaming in the future, saying that 

 “Disney+ will play an even bigger part in Disney’s future, and we have plans to keep making the service even better,”

Roger’s Take: While there is little doubt that Disney is commitment to the EMEA region, there’s no denying that Disney is pulling back on production, and marketing to save money. It does make sense for Disney to license out some of its older original content to public broadcasters in the United Kingdom, since this is additional revenue that doesn’t impact on Disney+, since the initial boost and viewership will have declined. So it’s all just a bonus.   And with his comments about the future of Disney+ within the region, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the return of ESPN as a new hub on Disney+ in the future, echoing what’s happening later this month in Latin America and later this year in the US.

Do you think Disney+ is doing enough in the UK?  Let me know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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