Philippino mobile provider Globe Telecom has announced a new partnership with L.A.-based Maker Studios to create a low-cost subscription service for Disney content in the Southeast Asian nation.
The service will provide theatrical releases, on-demand content for movies and television series, as well as online and mobile games, apps and e-books. Pricing models for the subscription services will be provided in the coming months, and the services are expected to roll out over the summer, according to Globe’s senior advisor for consumer business, Dan Horan.
“People love Disney,” said Horan in an interview with StreamDaily. “They have everything from Star Wars and Marvel to Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.”
The service is also an attempt to penetrate a market with a young population (a median age of 23.4 according to the Philippines’ 2010 census) and a low, albeit steadily rising GDP (the International Monetary Fund recently predicted a 6.7% increase in economic growth for the year). Recent statistics revealed that cable penetration sits at around 15% of households, mostly in urban Manila. Subscriptions to services such as Netflix are rare, as a U.S. billing address is still required for an account.
According to Horan (pictured, far left), media piracy is a concern.
“It’s not unusual, whether it’s movies or music, piracy is just an easy way to access content,” he said.
Last year, Globe made an attempt to steer users away from music piracy through an exclusive partnership with music-streaming service Spotify. The partnership created a data plan allowing Internet access along with Spotify services for the equivalent of $0.22 U.S. per day. In the U.S., T-Mobile recently launched a comparable service, offering no data caps for customers on online music streaming services, with their lowest plan starting at $50 U.S. per month (about $1.60 per day).
In the 13 months since its launch, an estimated four million people are now using the service. Horan said he hopes to repeat the same with the Disney subscription service.
Through its partnership with Maker, known for creating hits such as “Epic Rap Battles of History,” the two brands will work together to create original short-form digital content featuring top global influencers, though specific names have yet to be announced. Horan is hoping the partnership can be used to boost the profile of rising Flipinino talent.
“We’ve got great talent here, and it should be seen around the world,” he said.
Horan estimates lower-end subscription packages will fall somewhere between $1 and $2 U.S. per month.