Disney+ reached the Latin American market to compete directly with Netflix, HBO Go and Prime Video. The strategy of the streaming platform, which today has 73.7 million subscribers around the globe, will not only go for the more than 500 exclusive movies that it has in its virtual library, but will also bet heavily on local content.
Natalia Scalia, regional director of direct to consumer of The Walt Disney Company Latin America, told a round table for the region, where Día1 was the only Peruvian media, how the arrival of Disney + has been in the middle of the pandemic, how they have adapted to the Latin American consumer and the plans that come for the region and for Peru.
– What are the expectations for Disney + in the region?
We are a global service that has 73.7 million subscriptions, has had a high level of reception and adoption, largely due to our proposal. We have very high expectations about our region. We have been working on this release for a long time, right now I cannot share the numbers, because those figures are updated. We hope that Latin America will contribute an important flow to the business.
– How is Disney + different from other streaming platforms that are already present in the region?
We have all the content of the most iconic brands, with a high level of exclusivity only in Disney +, with our brands Disney, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, which remain valid for many years, more than 500 films and more than 7,000 episodes . The proposal will also bring original content: more than 40 Disney Plus Originals productions with shorts for the platforms. Regarding the experience, we have the possibility of making unlimited downloads to view the contents without internet, plan configuration, annual or monthly and have four user profiles at the same time, according to consumer expectations.
– Do you plan to produce your own content in Latin America?
Disney has been characterized by a strong commitment to local content for years. We have around 70 local content projects from different markets, which are going to be released on the platform. We are going to support the local proposal, mainly in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
–In what period of time will the 70 productions be released?
Regarding local productions, I cannot give certainty of dates, but many will be released in 2021. In this context, confirming exact production dates has not been the easiest, but spaces are being released to continue with our plans.
– Are there plans for productions in Peru for later?
Today I can’t share production plans going forward. We are focused on the entire region, it is part of our permanent focus. There we have places where we are a little more focused, but summoning talent from all over the region, from relevant points to connect with our audiences. Today I cannot give details about plans in Peru in particular, but it is part of our focus.
– Were there any Disney + implementation challenges due to the pandemic?
Preparing a launch of this magnitude remotely has been a big challenge, we work with global teams and with local teams to carry it out. We are increasing the workforce due to this pandemic and have found ways to approach and assemble teams at this juncture. In a totally remote way. It has given us great lessons to adapt to the context in which we live. Of course, we have not modified our plans, we always had the same launch date in our objectives.
– How have you seen the streaming market in Latin America? There are players who came before Disney +, what do you think the competition will be like?
We are entering a streaming development space, where they begin to grow in the consumer space. We are going to start to see how the level of consumption advances, that moment is starting. It is a market where you see more supply, Peru included, than in others. Our consumers are more selective about what they want to see in their homes and Disney + is complementary to everything that is seen in the region, a unique service in its category. And on the other hand, the platform has a very high affinity with audiences. We see it as a service that will be in the largest number of homes in Latin America. We have been concerned with developing distribution and breadth.
The consumption of streaming platforms in Latin America has grown a lot in the last year and had a greater impulse due to the pandemic, do you think that this trend will continue beyond this health crisis and confinement?
We cannot predict what will happen, but I can tell you that society and the context have changed, therefore, interests and forms of consumption have also changed. This means that our audience is constantly evolving and changing, which leads us to listen to them to understand what is relevant to them and adapt. The consumer is always at the center of the equation in everything we do. Technology gives the consumer the option to choose what content to watch and when. We, as content providers and creators, have to be available where the consumer is with content that is relevant to them.
– Taking into account the premiere of films like Mulan, do you have something like this contemplated for Latin America?
Here Disney + will not launch this type of format (like ‘Mulan’ in the US). December 4 will be the release of this movie for all our subscribers. And ‘Soul’ will premiere on December 25, at no additional charge, within the subscription.
– Will the local currency be kept for subscriptions going forward?
We have focused on offering prices in local currency, it is better adapted to each of the markets. And we will have both a monthly and annual plan with this price format.
– What alternatives of payment methods have you implemented in the region, where cash is the main payment method?
These services are constantly evolving. We have seen fairly wide payment options in order to provide greater access options and in the context of our markets. We have a direct sales format in which we offer payment options by credit card and PayPal. But we are also working on integrating more options in our direct sales and we have a distribution network through which you can contract our service.
– What telemarketers or players are you working with in Peru to distribute Disney +?
Disney + has direct distribution through the Disney + platform and also non-exclusively through multiple companies that are leaders in different segments such as telephone operators, broadband, and e-commerce. This is in constant development to offer more access.
– There are older operating systems that the platform does not support, how will you deal with it?
Our service is available for all devices with an Internet connection and game consoles. We have different compatibility and operating system requirements, but if you have any questions we have a costumer service, where any consumer can consult us and we will help them.
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