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Disney+ struggles in South Korea in first week after launch

By Kim Hae-wook & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
Disney+ struggles in South Korea in first week after launch
Disney+ debuted in South Korea on Friday. During the first week of its launch, the streaming service faced numerous customer complaints. Photo courtesy of Disney+

SEOUL, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Walt Disney Co. received a lukewarm response to its Disney+ streaming service in the first week after its launch in South Korea.

Several issues have surfaced about the quality of subtitles in its videos, as well as allegations of miscommunication between Disney employees and customers.

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Some viewers complained that the term "Greatest of All Time (GOAT)" in a Simpsons episode was mistakenly translated into "the domestic goat" in Korean. Others pointed out that Toy Story 3 and Olaf's Frozen Adventure also contain translation errors.

In one South Korean online community, a Disney+ member shared excerpts from a one-on-one conversation with a Disney employee who appeared not to understand and speak Korean properly.

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A representative of Disney+ told UPI Korea News that Disney is reviewing the complaints and will try to improve the user experience.

Despite the issues, observers expect that Disney+ will eventually take firm root in South Korea thanks to its unique content. Currently, Netflix dominates the market in the country.

"Netflix started its services in 2016 in South Korea, and Disney+ has just arrived here. For now, it's impossible to compare the two," HMC Investment & Securities analyst Kim Hyun-yong said in a phone interview.

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"Netflix mostly targets adults, while Disney+ cares about families and kids. At the end of the day, the two companies will control their own share of the market," he said.

In addition to Netflix, Disney+ is competing with South Korean services Wavve and Tving. Apple TV+ also launched earlier this month.

According to IGAWorks, a Seoul-based big data company, the number of daily active users for Disney+ amounted to 384,000 on the day of its launch, compared to 3.05 million for Netflix.

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The figures were 1.27 million and 920,000 for Wavve and Tving, respectively.

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