Over the past few years, we’ve seen Disney drastically reducing the amount of original content it creates, not just on linear channels but also on its streaming platforms, as it looks to make its television business profitable in a new landscape where cable TV income isn’t subsidizing the whole division.

This push to make streaming profitable has seen Disney drastically reduce the number of new shows it has commissioned for Disney+, and this, as you might expect, has had a ripple effect across the globe, with Disney reducing how much content it makes outside the United States.

Disney is still committed to making original programming outside of the United States, but it mainly focuses on areas where it makes financial sense to do so.  It’s still heavily investing in new local content in Asia, Europe and Latin America, but it’s much less than we saw during the boom of streaming growth.

Some new data from Ampere Analytics has highlighted that Disney has been drastically reducing the number of commissions for new original content for the past two years, reaching its lowest point in Q4 of 2023, though there was a slight uptight in early 2024.

However, the number of new original shows being commissioned by Disney+ is drastically behind that of Netflix and Amazon, which have started investing even more in content made outside the US.

Ampere is predicting that Amazon and Netflix have greenlit more than half (53%) of the world’s overall streaming commissions during the first three months of 2024. 


This growth has been “spurred by increased investment in international territories,” and that now those two streaming platforms order the “majority of their titles from outside the U.S.”

Some issues with this data need to be addressed since many traditional studios, like Disney, Warner Brothers, and Paramount, are still bound by their history, which includes linear channels that consistently produce new content and are often long-running shows like “The Simpsons” or “Grey’s Anatomy”, which wouldn’t be considered new commissions.

However, there is very little doubt that over the past year or so, we’ve seen the amount of original content being announced for Disney+ to be much less, and that’s also spread across the globe.    Disney CEO Bob Iger has said in the past that they are only investing in local content when it makes sense to do so, and you can see how they are prioritising some regions over others.

Disney also has an interesting situation in India, where it operates Hotstar, which is making lots of new content, but isn’t released on Disney+ outside that country and the company is also looking to merge its Disney Star business with Reliance, so things continue to evolve in that region, whereas, Netflix and Amazon are both heavily investing in local content within the region.

Mariana Enriquez Denton Bustinza, an Ampere Senior Researcher, explained why studios are making more content outside of the US:

“Market saturation in North America, the growing cost of production, and the lingering impact of the Hollywood strikes have pushed Netflix and Amazon to increase investment in international productions to stimulate subscriber growth.

While several studio-backed SVoDs have made cutbacks internationally, these two streaming giants are doubling down on their localized global strategy.  For Netflix, this means catering to a broad subscriber base while leaning on markets whose productions offer the greatest potential for crossover appeal. Meanwhile, Amazon’s approach remains more heavily targeted towards key markets such as India, while it leverages its global position to expand further into the theatrical market to generate downstream revenues from its platforms.”


There are plenty of international originals being released on Disney+ each week, especially anime from Japan and Korean Dramas, plus Latin American and European originals each month, but when compared to Netflix and Amazon, there is much less.

Roger’s Take: With Disney drastically cutting back on how much content it’s making, it was only logical that international commissions would have also been reduced.  It’s very noticeable that we’ve had a lot fewer announcements about new titles, which will no doubt result in even less international content arriving in the future, especially as Disney focuses on content that appeals to a global audience.

Do you think Disney+ should invest in more international originals?  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: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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