Disney unveils ‘Star’

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on December 11, 2020

Media giant will launch its new general entertainment service internationally in 2021

Disney announced on Thursday the launch of its new general entertainment service, Star, for international markets at its 2020 Investor Day.

“Building on the successful launch of Disney+ Hotstar in India and Indonesia,” the media giant will launch Star in select international markets as part of its streaming service, Disney+.

Star will be launched as a separate streaming service in Latin America as Star+.

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“Star will launch in Europe and several other international markets on February 23, 2021, as a fully integrated part of Disney+, with its own branded tile and a new collection of renowned general entertainment series, movies, documentaries and more,” Disney said in an official release.

Star will include content from Disney’s creative studios, including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios and 20th Television.

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The service will be priced at €8.99 per month or €89.99 per year in Europe. Disney will follow a similar pricing strategy for other markets, including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

It will continue the global rollout of Disney+ in new markets, now with Star starting with Singapore on February 23, 2021, followed by Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea later in 2021.

Enhanced parental controls

The Star brand will be launched as a separate streaming app in Latin America and will include Star content collection, local original productions, and live sports content from ESPN, including “top soccer leagues, grand slam tennis, and more.”

The streaming service will launch in June 2021 as a “stand-alone service. It will be priced at around $7.50 per month (or the local equivalent), or will be bundled with Disney+ for around $9.00 per month (or the local equivalent), Disney said.

The media giant will also update Disney+ globally to offer enhanced parental controls. It will add features such as enabling users to set limits on access to content for specific profiles based on content ratings and the ability to add a PIN to lock profiles with access to mature content, it said.

Disney also announced that its portfolio of direct-to-consumer services now has over 137 million global paid subscriptions, including 11.5 million ESPN+ subscribers, 38.8 million Hulu subscribers, and 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers.

Disney expects its streaming services to clock 300-350 million total paid subscriptions by fiscal 2024 fuelled by new content. Disney+ alone is targeting to release more than 100 titles per year, it said.

Published on December 11, 2020

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