Disney+, the streaming service from the American entertainment behemoth, is reportedly slated to debut in South Korea first through a deal with LG U+, which is the smallest of Korea's three IPTV providers. Then it speculated that it would form a partnership with KT, the largest of the three, to broaden its reach even more.
Disney had already previously announced November 12th as the debut date for Disney+ in South Korea, where it would be charging a monthly subscription fee of ₩9,900 ($8.40).
At the time, however, it did not reveal who its local partner would be, fueling speculation that the two South Korean telecoms companies might be vying to deliver Disney+, a family-oriented streaming service, to their own IPTV systems.
LG U+ CEO, Hwang Hyeon-Sik, stated on that the firm is in the last stages of discussion with Disney. According to market analysts, the business may have had a competitive edge over its rival KT since most of its IPTV set-top boxes run on Android OS, which is compatible with Disney+.
Currently, Android is used in about 97% of LG U+ set-top boxes. LG U+ first began rolling out Android-based set-top boxes for the firm's streaming service in 2017, a year ahead of other telecoms companies, which did so by the end of 2018. At the moment, only around 30% of KT's IPTV set-top boxes run on Android OS.
According to a statement made by Ku Hyeon-mo, the chief Executive of KT, the same day, KT will ultimately ink a collaboration with Disney.
However, Ku clarified that bringing Disney+ content on KT's platform might take some time. Before entering into a partnership with the American content service, KT would have to replace its old set-top boxes with suitable ones.
Sources cite, when Disney+ starts its services, which would include a number of films and TV series that are not available on other platforms, it will enhance competitiveness in the local paid streaming industry, which is now dominated by Netflix.
Disney+ offers a diverse selection of material from its many brands, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, "Star Wars", and National Geographic, apart from Disney’s original TV series and films.