Disney Asia Luke Kang on Streaming – The Hollywood Reporter

For Luke Kang, president of the Walt Disney Firm for the Asia-Pacific area, the expansion alternatives for the streaming market in South Korea are clear and considerable.

There’s a transparent motive why world media and leisure corporations are maintaining a tally of Asia — and South Korea particularly — as some of the strategic and essential areas for his or her companies, he argued.

“APAC has three of the highest 10 world economies and movie markets, together with Korea, and 4 of the highest ten digital video markets,” Kang stated in a keynote speech on the Asian Content material and Movie Market of the Busan Worldwide Movie Competition. “The sheer dimension, sophistication and potential of many high-growth Asia-Pacific markets is to not be underestimated.”

Kang, who held numerous senior roles on the former Viacom’s MTV Networks and digital media startups in Silicon Valley and Asia previous to becoming a member of Disney, has direct duty for the leisure large’s media networks and direct-to-consumer companies, content material gross sales and studio enterprise divisions in Larger China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The leisure veteran was named president of Disney Korea in 2011 and has since had his obligations expanded to supervise the explosive development of the corporate’s enterprise all through the Asia-Pacific area.

The technological and financial fundamentals of the Asia Pacific area counsel unmistakable development potential for world streaming providers, Kang argued. “Whole broadband penetration in Asia-Pacific households is 5 occasions that of the U.S. immediately, however the Asia-Pacific area solely accounts for 30 p.c of VOD subscription market penetration, versus 80 p.c for the U.S.,” he defined. “There are clear client development alternatives.”

Disney+, which formally launches in South Korea on Nov. 12 will showcase content material by Disney and its secure of manufacturers, together with Pixar, ESPN, Nationwide Geographic and Marvel Leisure — together with different authentic content material and collection produced in Korea.

With the coronavirus pandemic remodeling sectors and the demand for dwelling leisure rising, Kang stated he feels content material produced throughout the Asia-Pacific, particularly, has the chance to actually take off on streaming platforms. That’s the perception amongst the entire world streaming corporations at the moment working, or making ready to start out their providers in South Korea. Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix, just lately stated at a California tech convention that the corporate’s hit South Korean collection Squid Sport, could develop into the most important present in Netflix’s historical past in all languages. Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max are additionally making ready to launch in Korea quickly.

“With the expansion of OTT, we’re transferring shortly into the house,” Kang stated. “How Korean content material has advanced into a world phenomenon is a superb instance of what’s doable within the Asia-Pacific area. One of many key drivers of the rising enchantment of Asia-Pacific content material is the upper manufacturing worth of movies and collection being created immediately.”

Disney movies have at all times been vastly widespread in South Korea. Frozen was the primary animated movie in South Korea to surpass the ten million admission mark. Marvel’s Avengers: Finish Sport is the most-watched international movie ever screened in Korea. The sooner Marvel installment Avengers: Age of Ultron had scenes filmed in Seoul, whereas automobile chase scenes from Black Panther have been shot within the port metropolis of Busan. On the Busan pageant, Disney routinely screens its upcoming status titles, with The French Dispatch and Summer season of Soul being unveiled this 12 months.

“Right here in South Korea, we’re not solely the no. 1 Hollywood studio, but in addition one of many largest movie distributors,” Kang stated. “We’re very excited to be a part of the event of the native ecosystem and to play an integral position within the shaping of the leisure within the area — bringing Disney’s unparalleled storytelling, inventive excellence and infinite leisure to audiences in South Korea very quickly.”

Kang sees profitable future leisure to be “hyper-local, numerous and digital.” Disney is already working with storytellers in South Korea, he added. “As a eager observer and participant of the leisure trade in Asia, I proceed to be impressed by the fast evolution of our sector and the altering client preferences throughout this area,” Kang concluded.

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