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Disney+ unveils lineup, strategy for Korean market

Slew of Korean originals starring big names to be released in latter half of 2024

March 13, 2024 - 09:20 By Lee Yoon-seo
Carol Choi, executive vice president of original content strategy at The Walt Disney Company APAC, speaks during a media event in Jongno-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. (Disney+)

Emphasizing the importance of the Korean market, Disney+ said Tuesday that it will focus on quality over quantity going forward.

"Disney Korea is evolving from playing the role of a distributor of global stories and content to producing content here and bringing it outside of Korea. The quality and the storytelling of Korean content is so attractive to audiences not only in APAC, but beyond," said Carol Choi, executive vice president of original content strategy at The Walt Disney Company APAC, during the Disney+ 2024 Content Lineup Media Day held at Jongno-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. APAC refers to the Asia-Pacific region.

"(It) has become very important for us to establish partnerships with (Korean) creators and deep relationships in (the Korean) market," she added.

According to Choi, nine of the top 15 best-performing international original titles released on Disney+ during fiscal year 2023 were Korean titles.

"This is a significant and important data point, as it reinforces the global resonance of Korean storytelling and how stories produced in Korea are world-class and captivating audiences worldwide," said Choi.

"Disney’s creative excellence and commitment will remain key pillars of the company’s future, and we will continue to invest in Korea’s creative economy and nurture and support its local creative community," Choi added.

According to Choi, Korean consumers are highly sophisticated in their entertainment and streaming choices. Choi added that Disney+ audiences have a preference for heavily scripted content with high production value.

"This year, Disney+ is aiming for the provision of high-quality content over quantity. Through selection and focus, Disney+ will continue its growth via carefully curated premium contents," said Kim So-youn, managing director of Walt Disney Company Korea.

Disney+ is slated to release a slew of large-scale originals, including "Uncle Samsik," a tentpole Disney+ original drama series starring veteran actor Song Kang-ho. The drama series is scheduled to stream on Disney+ in May.

"Blood Free," a suspense thriller with a take on the topic of lab-grown meat, which stars Ju Ji-hoon and Han Hyo-joo, is scheduled to stream in April.

"The Tyrant," a spinoff from hit action horror films "The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion" and "The Witch: Part 2. The Other One," starring Cha Seung-won and Kim Sun-ho, is slated for release in the latter half of 2024.

"Unmasked," a drama series starring Kim Hye-soo and Jung Sung-il as a team of journalists fighting for their careers after broadcasting a controversial story, is also to release in the latter half of this year.

Also coming out in the second half are "Red Swan," a revenge drama starring Kim Ha-neul and Jung Ji-hoon, and "Gangnam B-Side," a crime drama starring Jo Woo-jin and Ji Chang-wook.