This week, the Walt Disney Company continues to gain ground in the global streaming market as it launches Disney+ in 16 markets across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This follows the launch of Disney+ in South Africa last month.
The company is inching toward its plan to more than double the number of countries where Disney+ is available, having said it aims to have the service in over 160 countries by its fiscal 2023. In March, Disney+ announced the launch dates for 42 countries and territories, including the 16 that are a part of this new MENA launch. The service will also be launched in more countries across Europe on June 14.
Subscribers in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya and eight other markets will now have a variant version of the Disney+ Hotstar app, which subscribers in India and South-East Asia also have. This means the service will be structured a little differently than in the U.S., as it will have a different user interface and a different login system that uses a mobile number instead of a Disney ID.
Disney+ Hotstar is the Indian streaming service and offers 100,000+ hours of content across nine languages, plus live sports programming (cricket, football, kabaddi, etc.).
The MENA version of Disney+ will not only get general programming from Hotstar, but it will also be a hub for thousands of films, shows and exclusive originals from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. This includes “Ms. Marvel,” “The Mandalorian,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” “Moon Knight,” “Only Murders in the Building,” “The Dropout,” “The Kardashians” and more.
Subscribers will have access to up to four simultaneous streams, unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices and a maximum of seven user profiles (including kids’ profiles that only have age-appropriate content).
In the second quarter of the year, Disney+ had 137.9 million subscribers worldwide, while Disney+ Hotstar had 50 million subscribers. The recent expansion puts the streamer in line to potentially succeed in its ambitious goal of reaching 230 to 260 million subscribers by 2024.
This wasn’t the only news Disney shared this week. Yesterday, the company announced it had named Dana Walden as the new chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content. She will report directly to CEO Bob Chapek. As a continuation of the high-level executive restructuring that has taken place at Disney, Walden will be replacing Peter Rice, the former chairman that was suspected of being Chapek’s replacement. This will not be the case, however.