It has been reported that all members of Disney Korea’s OTT content team, responsible for discovering original content, have left the company. This is due to the global workforce reduction wave at Walt Disney, which has also affected the domestic Disney Plus division.
According to industry sources on the 15th of June, it is understood that 15 members of Disney Korea’s OTT content team, responsible for discovering original content for Disney’s OTT platform, have left the company. There are also rumors in the industry that the production of domestic original content for Disney Plus has been temporarily suspended.
An industry insider familiar with Disney Korea stated, “It is known that the domestic Disney content team has disappeared. There is talk of restructuring the original content team in the United States.” Another source commented, “Once Disney showcases all the original content lineups announced for this year, it remains uncertain what will happen next.”
The disbandment of the content team is analyzed as a result of Disney+ not achieving noticeable success domestically. Although Disney+ launched its Korean service on November 12, 2021, the monthly active users (MAU) of Disney+ as of May this year were 1,797,157. This is only about half the number of MAUs compared to domestic OTT platforms such as Tving (5.15 million), Coupang Play (4.31 million), and Wavve (3.92 million) during the same period.
On the other hand, Disney has invested a significant amount of funds in domestic original content. The drama ‘Casino’ had a production budget in the 20 billion won range, while the drama ‘Moving’ had a budget in the 50 billion won [$39,231,845] range. Even excluding the reputation of IP giant Disney, Disney+ has not yielded satisfactory results in proportion to the investment.
Earlier, Disney CEO announced plans for global workforce reduction. He is reducing staff particularly through restructuring underperforming divisions. Disney has reportedly laid off 7,000 employees globally, aiming to save around $5.5 billion since February this year. They are also closing down TV channels operated in the Korean, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asian markets
When contacted for a response on the report, Disney Korea stated that it is difficult to confirm the details regarding personnel-related matters.