Disney is unveiling its Hulu replacement for international markets that subscribe to Disney Plus. It is called Star. And will start to roll out in select European countries, Canada, and New Zealand starting on February 23rd. It will be a free tier that sits right in the Disney Plus app. The free tier will carry content from Disney’s other non-franchise owned brands like shows from FX and movies from 20th Century.
This is what Disney says according to its announcement:
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 that will double the content catalog available to Disney+ subscribers. Disney+ will be updated globally to offer enhanced parental controls enabling the family-friendly experience parents expect, including the ability 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.
Disney will also be launching a separate standalone streaming service called Star Plus (or Star+) in Latin America. The new streaming service there will carry Disney-owned content from its top brands. It will also include ESPN and ESPN+ content. This is a push into making a streaming service carry linear sports content. The Star Plus brand will launch in June 2021.
In Latin America, to take advantage of the region’s portfolio of live sporting events, the company will launch Star+ as a standalone streaming service. Star+ brings together an unrivaled Star content collection, local original productions, and an array of live sports from ESPN, including top soccer leagues, grand slam tennis, and more. Star+ will launch in June 2021 as a stand-alone service for ~$7.50 per month (or the local equivalent), or as part of an attractively priced bundle with Disney+ for ~$9.00 per month (or the local equivalent).
What lies in wait for the Hulu brand remains to be seen. The company didn’t comment on its future. If it is to remain domestic-only that will put a cap on the number of subscriptions it will see moving forward.
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