Apple TV+ and Disney+, which have entered Korea, are heralding new projects.
Among the OTT platforms that have entered Korea, as Netflix is dominating the market, will they be able to stand as its rivals?
On Mar 15th, Disney+ announced the launch of its original entertainment series “The Zone: Endure to Live” (hereinafter referred to as “The Zone“). “The Zone” is an unpredictable adventure variety where the cast needs to carry out a single mission of “endure to survive” in an unknown world full of risks.
They put broadcaster Yoo Jae-seok, actor Lee Kwang-soo, and Girls’ Generation Kwon Yu-ri as the cast members. On top of that, the production crew of Netflix‘s original entertainment shows “Busted!” and “New World,” SBS entertainment programs “X-Man,” “Running Man,” and “Family Outing,” joined forces to create the show.
Above all, Disney+ entered the Korean market in November last year, but failed to achieve significant results. According to the mobile index of mobile big data platform company IGAWorks, Disney+ decreased from 590,000 subscribers (based on Android and IOS) on November 12th last year to 410,000 on the 19th, only a week later. During the same period, the number of paid Netflix subscribers increased by about 450,000 from 3.05 million on Nov 12th to 3.5 million on Now 18th. Initially, Walt Disney and Marvel contents, which already have a solid fan base, were the main products on this platform, but despite their loyalty, this is a disappointing performance.
Since then, Disney+ has sought a turnaround with JTBC‘s “Snowdrop.” However, “Snowdrop” was embroiled in controversy over the beautification of the national security association and disparaging the democratization movement after its initial synopsis was leaked even before filming, and failed to achieve results in its solo VOD service.
In addition, Disney+ introduced “Outrun by Running Man,” a spin-off of the popular Korean long-lived entertainment show “Running Man,” but this also did not resonate much.
Aside from “The Zone“, Disney+ recently announced its original drama “Soundtrack #1“. As “Rookie Cops” and “Grid” is receiving lukewarm responses, expectations for “The Zone” and “Soundtrack #1” are high.
Apple TV+ will also showcase its second work “Pachinko” as a domestic original series on March 25th. Following the first Korean original series “Dr. Brain“, “Pachinko” is based on the novel of the same name, which was selected as a New York Times bestseller. The series stars actress Youn Yuh-jung, who became the first Korean actor to win an Academy Award, as well as Hallyu star Lee Min-ho. In addition, overseas film review media outlets Collider, Decider, Rolling Stone and Hollywood Reporter gave it perfect scores, raising expectations.
However, Apple TV+ is having difficulty attracting paid subscribers because there are not many contents currently in service compared to other OTT platforms. Accordingly, word of mouth about “Pachinko” is expected to affect whether it will be successful and the increase in the number of Apple TV+ paid subscribers.
Among OTT platforms currently being serviced in Korea, Netflix is showing off its unrivaled presence. In addition to the amount of content in service, its original series “Squid Game”, “My Name”, “Hellbound”, “All of Us Are Dead” and “Juvenile Justice” have achieved obvious results.
While Disney+ and Apple TV+ ambitiously announced the launch of their original series, attention is being paid to which will be the final winner.