Disney+ Deleting Content in America, Increasing It in Asia

in Disney, Television

Ming Lee (left) serving daughter Meilin Lee (right, back turned) from Turning Red (2022)

Credit: Pixar Animation/Disney

Disney fans have become worried in recent months as the company follows the recent trend of ruthlessly purging its streaming platform of content without much explanation. However, it seems Disney+ is set to get a whole bunch of new content, but only of a specific kind.

Even as the Writers Guild of America strike shuts down production of Disney originals, Marvel Studios shows and movies, and whatever is going on with Star Wars, Disney+ is set to get a whole bunch of newly developed content, lumped in the category “Asia originals.”

Logo for Disney+
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney’s Attempt to Simmer Content Purge Tension Savagely Backfires

Disney+ Seems To Be Moving Attention To Asian-Produced Content

According to Deadline, Disney+ has announced an expansive new set of original programs from the streaming platform; the content will largely be produced in conjunction with South Korean and Japanese companies and run the gamut from drama series to anime adaptations to musical docu-series.

This has been announced at the same time that Disney+ has been purged of literally dozens of films and series in the last few months alone, with one particularly notorious instance seeing the original movie Crater (2023) pulled from the platform within weeks of release.

Similarly, fan-favorite content like the Willow legacy sequel series, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and much more has been abruptly deleted, allegedly for cost-cutting reasons.

Willow
Credit: Lucasfilm

The Asia Originals Will Reflect Some of Asia’s Most Popular Content

The new Disney+ content will include new collaborations with the mega-popular K-pop band BTS, Korean dramas titled Moving and The Worst Of Evil, and new Japanese animes like Tokyo Revengers: Teknik and Phoenix: Eden17.

Reportedly, the new originals will continue launching through December.

Increased Disney+ Asia Content Matches Industry Trends

It might seem a little bit odd that Disney+ can see its way to producing a whole new slate of content while claiming it needs to pull back on the rest, but it lines up with what is happening in the streaming industry as a whole.

Just recently, Disney+ was officially overtaken in market share by Max (Warner Bros Discovery’s streaming platform formerly known as HBO Max, not the son of Goofy), and its original programmings, like Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion and Star Wars’ The Mandalorian, have been experiencing drastic drops in viewership.

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury looking to the sky in 'Secret Invasion'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Pretty much all streaming platforms, from Netflix to Max to Disney+, have been cutting content (though not subscription costs) in order to remain as profitable as possible. The ongoing WGA strike (in part due to arguments over royalties paid to creators of streaming content) has made it virtually impossible to continue producing content at the moment, so the companies are going outside of the United States in order to keep the money flowing.

Related: Disney+ Removal Marks End of an Era

As we previously reported, South Korean media production companies operate under very different standards and (broadly speaking) less expectations of payments and royalties; creator, writer, and director Hwang Dong-hyuk receives no royalties from Netflix for the show, despite it being the platform’s single most popular series ever.

Could this new slate of Disney+ originals be part of a strategy to reduce costs from costly American productions? We can only wait and see.

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