As Disney+ expands across the world, it has been drastically increasing the amount of original programming being created.  In Europe, alone, Disney’s International Content and Operations team plan to create 60 local productions by 2024, continuing to work with outstanding creators and premium producers as part of the company’s commitment to source, develop and produce high-quality original productions from around the globe.  Some of these shows have already been released, such as “Wedding Season” and “Oussekine”, with many more originals heading to our screens soon.

According to Digital TV Research, Disney+ will have nearly 50 million European subscribers by the start of 2027 and one of the reasons why Disney is so heavily investing in original content in Europe, is because there is a 30% EU production quota that Disney+ must meet in some European territories.  It’s one of the reasons we’ve seen so many licenced shows and films arrive on Disney+ in some countries.

During a recent interview with Deadline, Disney EMEA Content Boss Diego Londono spoke about his work on Disney+, which involve creating new content for the platform.  There are two main areas that the European side is focused on, family content for Disney that “parents can watch with kids and ideally older kids”, and general entertainment shows for the sixth brand, Star that “aren’t too prescriptive”.  One key thing Diego Londono states, however is that he is “not looking for kids’ content”.  He added:

“Looking at content in terms of different taste-based segments, or through the eyes of different demos, is so important when you are faced with the daunting task of putting together a platform like Disney+.”

When asked what his biggest challenge was, he said:

“A lot of good ideas come to us that we have to turn down. We were always concerned that those great new general entertainment shows wouldn’t come to us and yet we’ve had so much money.

There’s that preconception of Disney being all about family entertainment, so we had to get out there and educate, and have ended up skewing the majority of our commissions towards general entertainment.”

With the European team looking for different types of content, it opened the platform up for shows like “Oussekine”.

“We would have turned down shows like Oussekine if we had been too prescriptive and thought people only wanted crime, thrillers or romance.  You’ve got to allow stories to come from anywhere.”

There is a lot of competition within the streaming and linear TV business.  So it’s only natural that Disney would be watching what other platforms are doing, with Diego saying:

“We’d be irresponsible not to be monitoring the competition.  But it’s one thing to monitor and another thing to let them drive your day-to-day decision-making. We set out a strategy, which we can adjust when necessary, and feel pretty confident in terms of what we set out as our plan.”

With so many original shows made in Europe heading to Disney+ in the years ahead, it’s interesting to see how all of this will come together.  Especially when you also throw in originals being created in Latin America, Asia and in North America.

Have you checked out any of the European originals on Disney+ yet?




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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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