Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced today that Disney plans to launch a new universal entertainment streaming platform in overseas markets under the Star brand in 2021,media reported. But Chapek didn’t give much detail about the platform, such as which star will be launched, pricing its services, but said it would include content from ABC, FX, Freeform, Searchlight and 20th Century Studios.
Unlike Hulu, Disney’s other integrated entertainment streaming service, Star does not offer licensed content. More information is expected to be announced on the upcoming Investor Day, when the company will focus on sharing information about Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN plus and Star. The announcement comes at a time of disney’s milestone in streaming, which includes more than 60 million Disney plus subscribers worldwide and 100 million subscribers to streaming services such as Hulu, ESPN Plus and Disney Plus.
Star’s launch also raises another important question: What will happen to Hulu? Former CEO Bob Iger had announced that Disney planned to launch the service globally in 2021, but Chapek said in May that the company had no plans to invest in its international operations. Chapek did not say whether Star would replace Hulu, but he took some time to explain why the company would launch a comprehensive entertainment service under Star, rather than just expand Hulu in international markets. “I think it’s important to look at the differences in our entry-market plans. Hulu aggregates third-party content; Hulu has no brand awareness outside the U.S. “
Compared to Hulu, Disney Stars Studios is a big brand overseas, and Hulu is a unique American name. As part of its deal with Fox, Disney teamed up the two brands by acquiring Star India, the Indian media and entertainment group, and the subsequent streaming service HotStar in 2019, before changing its name to Disney Plus HotStar. Today, Star is known as Disney’s Indian Star. By making Star an international brand, plus Disney Plus services, Disney’s strategy makes perfect sense.