Disney+ Moving More Content Overseas, Abandoning America

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Mickey Mouse in front of the American Flag

Credit: Inside the Magic

It is no secret that the Walt Disney Company has been struggling as of late. Box office grosses are down, lawsuits are everywhere, and writers and actors are very publically striking. Disney’s reaction to this seems to be to move more and more of its business away from America and produce content elsewhere.

Logo for Disney+
Credit: Disney

Per Deadline, Disney Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) is far ahead of its goal to produce escalating numbers of non-American content for the Disney+ streaming platform, indicating the company’s push to move away from relying on American audiences.

Related: ‘Spider-Man’ Returns to Streaming Platform, Not Disney+

In fact, Disney is working so hard to divest Disney+ of American reliance that it is nearly a year ahead of schedule in terms of its international original content, with Senior Vice President Liam Keelan saying, “We’ve pretty much got there already.”

It is not difficult to see the move to push Disney+ as more of an international service with an appeal to non-U.S. audiences as part of CEO Bob Iger’s attempt to streamline the company to be as profitable as possible.

Pluto from It's a Dog's Life with Todd Farmer, Willow, Jeff Goldblum, Hulu, Disney+
Credit: Inside The Magic, Disney+

As it is, Bob Iger has been slashing existing content on Disney+ (like the original series Willow, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and Y: The Last Man), cutting Marvel departments in half, and introducing sports gambling as a prominent part of the company brand, via ESPN.

The Disney CEO has come under heavy criticism for saying that striking American writers had “unrealistic expectations” of pay grades and job security, so the push into international content creation also makes quite a bit of sense.

Bob Iger poses in front of a sign reading "The Walt Disney Company."
Credit: ABC

This is very similar to the trends in Disney+’s biggest competitor, Netflix. Although Netflix currently dominates the streaming content market, it has been looking for any chance to increase profit margins, specifically by moving writing duties and production to international markets like South Korea.

Related: ‘Princess and the Frog’ Moves From Disney+ to Live Action

Reportedly, the Korean market does not have the same labor protections or expectations (unrealistic or not) of appropriate pay or even creators retaining copyrights or residuals for the work they create.

netflix squid game
Credit: Netflix

With Disney and Netflix both looking to move on from American content creation and go international, it will be interesting to see how (or if) they try to hang on to their existing audiences.

Are Disney and Netflix trying to leave American audiences behind? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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