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Disney to Launch Streaming Service in Japan

The service will be launched in partnership with Japan’s leading telecommunication company NTT Docomo

The Walt Disney Company revealed plans Thursday morning to launch a new streaming service in Japan.

The unnamed OTT platform will launch in March using the upcoming 5G infrastructure of Japan’s leading telecommunication company Docomo, according to The Hollywood Reporter. News of the partnership was revealed at the Mobile World Congress 2019 being held this week in Barcelona, Spain.

While details on the new service are still scarce, the company did confirm that content from four of its studios (Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Studios, Pixar and Lucasfilm) will be available on the service, The Hollywood Reporter said. However, the price consumers will pay for that content is still unknown.

The service is unrelated to Disney’s upcoming U.S. SVOD service Disney+, according to a spokesperson from Disney’s U.S. team.

Disney’s APAC division, which will help oversee the service, and Docomo did not respond to request for comment.

Docomo holds around 45 percent market share in Japan, making it the largest Japanese telecommunication company with more than 70 million subscribers. Its closest competitor with a 31 percent share isĀ KDDi’s Au, which has also been looking for ways to tap into the streaming market. Last year, the company partnered with Netflix, offering its mobile subscribers a data plan with unlimited access to the streaming platform (similar to T-Mobile’s partnership with the streaming giant in the U.S.). Both of the services are expected to launch their 5G networks later this year, which will offer the fastest internet connection yet seen on mobile.

Japan isn’t the only country Disney has scouted for its growing OTT business. In October 2017, the company debuted a streaming service in Ireland. Titled DisneyLife, the platform offers customers more than 400 movies along with a selection of Disney Channel shows, Disney e-books, and music for a monthly price $8.27. For that price users can create up to six individual profiles across 10 different devices. It also includes built-in controls so that parents can set time limits on their children’s profiles for weekday and weekend use.