Disney to launch a new global streaming service under Star next year

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 05, 2020 Published on August 05, 2020

It will be a general entertainment streaming platform and have a wider variety of content

Disney will launch a new streaming service under the Star brand name next year, CEO Bob Chapek announced at the company’s latest earnings call.

The media giant announced the new service as it reported a huge drop in income in the last quarter owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new service operating Star brand will build upon its success in the streaming division. The company had acquired 21st Century Fox Inc back in 2018. The new service under Star will be a general entertainment streaming platform and will have a wider variety of content than Disney+.

Disney suffered a loss of $4.7 billion in the three months to June 27. This was largely due to the closure of its resorts and theme parks, including Disney World amid the pandemic. Delay in film releases and production added to the loss.

The streaming services, however, did relatively well. Its platforms – Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus – amassed over 100 million subscribers combined, the company said.

“In terms of the general entertainment offering internationally, we want to mirror our successful Disney Plus strategy by using our Disney Plus technical platform, bringing in the content we already own and distributing it under a successful international brand that we also already own, which is, of course, Star,” said Chapek at the earnings call as quoted by the Verge.

Future of Hulu

However, this will put into question the future of Hulu. The new service under Star will not carry licensed content unlike its other general entertainment platform Hulu.

“I think it’s important to look at the differences at how we plan to enter the market. Hulu aggregates third-party content; this will not...Hulu has no brand awareness outside of the US,” said Chapek.

No specific details, including pricing and the countries where the service will be launched, were announced. The company is likely to reveal more information at an upcoming investors day, where plans for Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus, and Star will be discussed, as per the report.

Disney also announced that it will be moving one of its major films Mulan to Dinsey+ in premier access deal in September. The movie will be accessible on the platform for $30. In countries where the streaming service is not available, the movie is likely to be released in theatres on the same day depending on the status of the pandemic, as per reports.

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Published on August 05, 2020
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