As part of Disney’s plans to make its streaming service more profitable, it has made major changes to its structure and plans, with it writing off over $2 billion of original content and making over $5 billion dollars in savings as it has laid off thousands of employees, pushed its ad-supported tiers as a top priority, sold some assets and much more.
Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke during its quarterly investors calls that it was looking to cut costs by reducing the number of international originals it was making for Disney+, especially in some regions which are not proving as profitable as they want.
During today’s quarterly investors call, Bob Iger was asked during a Q&A session about the international side of Disney+, where he spoke about how the streaming service is going to be changing in some regions. Today’s major announcement was that the ad tier would launch in Canada and selected European countries in November. Disney is undoubtedly looking to launch the ad tier in other countries to increase subscribers and improve profits.
Disney+ Hotstar has lost millions of subscribers since Disney didn’t win the streaming rights to the Indian Cricket League, but it has also saved them billions of dollars. Leading Disney to investigate selling assets or finding a partner, as it changes its strategy for Disney+.
Now Disney is focused on making Disney+ as profitable as possible, and so, in countries where the streaming service is making money, such as through subscriptions and ads, it will continue to get the full service, with investment in local originals and more.
However, Bob Iger has also said that in some countries, they will be reducing the amount of localised content to save money as they invest less, and in some countries, they might not even offer any local content or possibly not even offer Disney+.
Bob Iger said during the Q&A session:
We actually have been looking at multiple markets around the world with an eye toward prioritizing those that are going to help us turn this business into a profitable business. What that basically means is there are some markets that we will invest less in local programming but still maintain the service. There are some markets that we may not have a service at all. And there are others that we’ll consider, I’ll call it, high-potential markets where we’ll invest nicely for local programming, marketing and basically full-service content in those markets.
Basically, what I’m saying is not all markets are created equal. And in terms of our march to profitability, one of the ways we believe we’re going to do that is by creating priorities internationally.
Over the past few years, Disney has been producing original content across the world, with Korean dramas, Japanese Anime, plus a variety of content across Europe and Latin America. But it has also recently removed dozens of international originals from Turkey, Australia and Latin America, to save money.
Moving forward, we will see a drastic reduction in the amount of Disney+ Originals created around the world, with countries that make Disney more money, getting priority over countries that don’t. Disney is no longer interested in just growing its subscriber number count to as high as possible. It wants to make money off of those subscribers, and for a while, localised content was seen as a major stepping stone to pull in new international audiences, but we are likely to see a drastic shift over the next year or so.What do you think about Disney cutting back on its international originals? Let us know on social media!
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.