These are exciting times for new streaming services across Central and Eastern Europe.
Earlier this week Disney+ outlined its plans for the region, where it will launch in 14 countries on June 14.
Speaking in a call, Kakhaber Abashidze, country manager and media head, The Walt Disney Company Russia & CIS and Central and Eastern Europe, said that it will be localised in several languages, operate under a number of brands including Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars and focus on such areas as personalisation and navigation.
International is now the main driver of Disney+, accounting for 43.2 million subscribers, excluding Disney+ Hotstar, as of the beginning of April, and CEE will provide even further impetus for growth. Furthermore, local productions will be a key factor as it continues to expand to new markets, with, according to Abashidze, 60 planned in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by 2024.
Meanwhile, speaking at New Europe Market (NEM) in Dubrovnik earlier this week, Levente Málnay, EVP, AMC Networks International, said that the streaming service AMC+ will make its debut in CEE in the first quarter of next year. It will be distributed by cable and satellite operators with which AMC already has a symbiotic relationship and offer viewers both quality US content and local productions.
Disney+ and AMC+ will enter a CEE market already served by such leading international streaming services as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Viaplay, discovery+ and HBO Max. The latter is a relative newcomer, having launched in an additional 15 countries, all but two in the region, in early March, while discovery+ is still only available in a few countries.
Looking to the future, one of the measures of how well these streaming services perform will undoubtedly be the amount of local content they offer. Affordable pricing will be another.
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