Since Disney+ launched last November, the live streaming platform has already surpassed 60.5 million subscribers globally.
By the end of the year, Disney+ will be available in 9 of the most major economies of the world. Meanwhile, the company already accumulated over 100 million paid subscribers across all of its streaming offerings which also includes Hulu and ESPN.
In an earnings call that just took place earlier today to discuss the third fiscal quarter for the Walt Disney Company, CEO Bob Chapek announced Disney’s plans to launch a new general entertainment streaming service, which will likely be an international service, in 2021 under the Star brand it acquired from Fox.
Chapek didn’t give us very many details about the new service including pricing, release dates, or which countries would have it. Disney also didn’t share if this new service would be marketed in the US. Instead, he stated, “Mirroring the strategy we successfully pursued with Disney+, the offering will be rooted in content we own from the prolific and critically acclaimed production engines and libraries of ABC Studios, Fox Television, FX, Freeform, 20th Century studios, and Searchlight.”
Rather than expanding its Hulu platform internationally (Hulu doesn’t have much brand awareness outside of the U.S.), Disney has decided to launch the new streaming service globally under the bigger and more recognizable overseas Star brand.
Chapek also explained Star will not aggregate 3rd party licensed content like Hulu does and added, “In many markets, the offering will be fully integrated into our established Disney+ platform from both a marketing and a technology perspective and it will be distributed under the Star brand which has been successfully utilized by the company for other general entertainment platform launches, particularly with Disney+ Hotstar in India.”
Disney+ Hotstar, launched in India on April 3rd, 2020 as a conversion to the preexisting Hotstar streaming service owned by Novi Digital Entertainment, a subsidiary of Disney’s Star India. Two paid subscription plans are available for the platform including “VIP,” which focuses on domestic shows and sports-related content while “Premium” access features international films and television programs.
“We’ve been very focused on advancing and growing our direct-to-consumer business which we see as our top priority and key to the future of our company,” Chapek also noted. By ramping Disney’s streaming capabilities with Star’s additional content, Disney hopes Star will be a stimulus for more folks to sign up for Disney+, increasing consumer engagement while helping the platform retain its paid subscribers.
We will continue to keep you posted as we learn more about this new streaming service, stay tuned.
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