A full-on battle between OTT (Over-The-Top) platforms in Korea has begun.
Disney’s OTT service Disney+ announced its launch for the second half of the year, exciting locals. Likewise, Amazon Prime Video revealed that they are preparing to launch their service in the first half of this year.
While Disney+ originally planned to launch its service to Korea in June, they pushed it back to the second half of 2021. During the interview celebrating Walt Disney’s 30th anniversary in Korea, Luke Kang, Disney’s head of Asia-Pacific regions, said, “It took time to start the service to prepare original contents based on Korean IP. We plan to launch Disney+ in the country within this year.” The platform owns numerous hit films, including the Avengers series, Frozen, and more. Also, they decided to produce original content for Korea because South Korean partnerships and users are significant to Disney.
As Luke Kang said, the platform is now pursuing joint-productions with major domestic producers such as KeyEast and NEW. For instance, NEW plans to produce Our Police Class (literal title) as the first original series of Disney+ in Korea, with Kang Daniel as its main actor.
Against OTT Goliath Disney+, Amazon Prime Video is preparing domestic services in the first half of this year. With 150 million subscribers worldwide, it is one of the fastest-growing platforms. Amazon Prime Video aims to make its launch with SK Telecom.
Like Coupang Play, Amazon Prime will likely combine itself with 11STREET and provide subscription services linked to T-membership (Korean membership tied to SK Telecom). Though Amazon Prime Video has no plans to produce its original content in Korea yet, they will likely make some domestic content following their expansion.