Disney Goes Native in New Markets

No more force-feeding US product in India, China, Latin America
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2007 7:19 AM CDT
Mickey Mouse   (Archive Photos)
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(Newser) – The Walt Disney Co., failing in its efforts to sell American product in foreign markets, is retooling its overseas strategy to partner with local players.  With an eye on five enormous markets—India, China, Latin America, Russia, and South Korea—the entertainment icon is abandoning its go-it-alone approach to produce television, film and merchandise customized for local tastes.

"We're building Disney from scratch," says CEO Robert Iger, who says the goal is  earning 50% of the company's profits from foreign markets. The company will announce today a venture using local filmmakers and the voices of Bollywood stars for animated films in India, where the population under 14 years old is bigger than the entire U.S. population.