Walt Disney Company, the worldwide media juggernaut, is launching its video streaming service Disney+ in South Africa around June 2022.
Viewers of the over-the-top service will be able to watch series that as of now have only been accessible through VPNs and more unscrupulous methods like piracy. Popular shows like Star Wars: The Mandalorian, Loki and the other Marvel Cinematic Universe series, as well as new movie releases in the same guise as Black Widow, and Jungle Cruise.
The announcement of its launch date in SA comes during the Walt Disney Company’s third-quarter 2021 financial results published on Thursday. During the conference call with CEO Bob Chapek, it was revealed that the launch of Disney+ in Eastern Europe is being pushed back to 2022.
Disney is pushing back this launch to enable a broader launch in the winter of 2022 – Summer for the Northern Hemisphere – that will “definitely include” parts of the Middle East and South Africa.
The rest of the African continent seems to be excluded in this broader launch, at least as of right now, with Disney focusing on Africa’s most sophisticated TV market. Chapek reiterated in the call that “our direct-to-consumer business is the company’s top priority.”
“As confirmed in The Walt Disney Company’s Q3 earnings call, Disney+ will launch in South Africa in winter 2022. We will share more details as we approach the launch next year,” the Walt Disney Company Africa told Media24 in a statement.
Disney+ is a Heavyweight Contender for SA’s Hyper-Competitive Streaming Market
Only a year and a half after its launch, Disney+ reached an unprecedented 116-million subscribers worldwide last month. The streaming service made the correct assessment with its model – content is king, and more importantly, people will pay to see the stories they really want to see.
Disney+ boasts a wide collection of films, documentaries and series in its library, and together with its massively popular original content based on its multi-billion-dollar characters and narratives, the service is only really going to get bigger.
The streaming service will enter a highly competitive South African market, with Netflix and Showmax leading the charge as major competitors. The streaming race in the country seems to be gearing up already, in the last two weeks two more significant platforms entered the market – BBC’s Britbox and eMedia’s eVOD.