Disney teased us a few months ago to expect further details on Star and at Disney’s Investors Day Presentation, we finally learned how Disney plans to explain their ‘Star’ brand internationally.
Star is a new general entertainment content brand from The Walt Disney Company and will be included in the Disney+ streaming service in select markets outside the U.S. and launching as a separate streaming service in Latin America as Star+.
In short, instead of expanding US only Hulu, Disney will launch Star instead to international consumers.
When is Star coming to Disney Plus?
Disney+ will be updated to include the Star brand on February 23rd, 2021 in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The streaming service will continue its global rollout, now with Star, in new markets beginning with Singapore on February 23rd, 2021, followed by Eastern Europe, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong later in 2021.
For Europe, we don’t know exactly which countries in Europe will be getting Star but we would expect Star to be available to all countries that currently have Disney+ available to them.
Do I need a separate app for Star?
No. An update for the Disney+ app will be released on February 23rd, which will bring Star directly to Disney+ fully integrated into the app. Star will be a sixth brand tile with its own dedicated brand page directly on the homepage. Star will join the 5 other tiles which are Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic. When the Star tile is clicked, all Star content will be showcased.
What will be on Disney Plus Star?
The Star brand serves as home to thousands of hours of movies and television from Disney’s creative studios, including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Television, Touchstone, and more. From comedies to dramas and thrillers, Star offers a range of titles for everyone and every mood. Star will also deliver brand-new originals from Disney’s General Entertainment studios in International markets, with over 35 first-run series set to premiere by the end of the first year.
It’s important to note that Disney hasn’t announced a full list on what is exactly is coming to Star but they did preview a few titles which included:
- Alien Covenant
- Alita: Battle Angel
- America Horror Story
- Bless the Harts
- Bob’s Burgers
- Brothers & Sisters
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer
- Deadpool 2
- Desperate Housewives
- Die Hard
- Family Guy
- Grey’s Anatomy
- How I Met Your Mother
- JoJo Rabbit
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle
- Love, Victor
- Mayans MC
- Modern Family
- Moonrise Kingdom
- Murder on the Orient Express
- My Name is Earl
- Paper Towns
- Pretty Woman
- Prison Break
- Quiz Show
- Solar Opposites
- Station 19
- Terminator: Dark Fate
- The Americans
- The Book Of Life
- The Devil Wears Prada
- The Favourite
- The Grand Budapest
- The Maze Runner
- The Resident
- The Shape Of Water
- The Sixth Sense
- The X-Files
- Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
- War For The Planet Of The Apes
- What We Do In The Shadows
We do want to highlight that the above titles aren’t guaranteed just yet, but it does give you some idea on what to expect from Star. It will feature a wide range of content, with many original Hulu shows and movies coming to the service too.
Each country, just like the current Disney+ library, will have its own licensing agreements with different networks and streaming services which could prevent some titles from coming to Star.
Last year, many of the ABC shows were removed as box-sets from Sky and NOW TV, with some returning for one-season only. In the US, ABC shows can be streamed on Hulu, so it seems likely, although not confirmed, we’ll see ABC shows too.
We know that Star will have over 1,000 unique titles within the first year, but we’ll need to wait until a few weeks before launch to know exactly what will be offered in each country.
How Much Does Disney Plus Star Cost?
Star is included with the cost of your Disney+ subscription. Subscription prices will be increasing in the following countries:
Pricing for Disney+ as of February 23, 2021:
• Canada: $11.99/month or $119.99/annual (Currently $8.99/month · $89.99/year)
• Australia: $11.99/month or $119.99/annual (Currently $8.99/month · $89.99/year)
• New Zealand: $12.99/month or $129.99/annual (Currently $9.99/month -$99.99/year).
• UK: £7.99/month or £79.90/annual (Currently £5.99/month – £59.99/year)
• Euro: 8.99/month or 89.90/annual (Currently €6.99/month – €69.99/year)
• Norway: 89.00kr/month or 890.00kr/annual (Currently 69 NOK/689 NOK)
• Denmark: 79.00kr/month or 790.00kr/annual (Currently 59 DKK/589 DKK)
• Sweden: 89.00 kr/month or 890.00 kr/annual (Currently 69 SEK/689)
• Switzerland: CHF12.90/month or CHF129.00/annual (Currently 59 DKK/589 DKK)
• Singapore: $11.98/month or $119.98/annual. (Not yet launched)
Check out some frequently asked questions below.
Do I have to pay more for Disney Plus Star?
Technically, no. As Star is fully integrated into Disney+, you don’t pay extra to watch Star content. However, Disney+ is raising subscriptions priced, as noted above, on the same day that Star is launched.
I already paid for an annual subscription for Disney Plus. Do I get Star?
If you’ve already paid for Disney+ annually, you’ll get access to Star when it launches on February 23, 2021. You will not pay anything additional until your subscription is due to be renewed.
Can I just pay for Disney Plus and not Star?
No. Star is built directly into Disney+ so there’s no option to pay for one without the other.
Is there a grace period before the price increase?
Yes. Disney has announced that existing subscribers will continue to get the old subscription prices until August 2021.
This means if your annual subscription ends in March for example, you’ll get the option to renew at the old pricing. If you’re paying monthly, you’ll start to see the new higher pricing after August.
Is Disney Plus Star Coming To the United States?
Star will not be coming to the United States. Star, although different in someways, is the answer to Hulu for international consumers. Instead of expanding Hulu internationally, Disney decided to use ‘Star’ instead. Many titles that will be available on Star are already on Hulu or will be coming to Hulu in the furture.
Is Disney Plus Star Password Protected?
To keep Disney+ suitable for audiences of all ages and the experience parents expect, new parental controls will include 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.
When the Star titled is clicked, it will ask for your password to gain access to the content. This will then unlock Disney+ and show mature titles throughout the Disney+ app and directly on the Star tile. This means, for example, that previously when going to the Marvel tile, you wouldn’t see ‘Logan’, due to being an R rated movie, but after entering your password, ‘Logan’ will appear in the Marvel section next all other Marvel movies.
Disney promised that their password protection will be robust and industry leading, which is incredibly important as it means you could see “Alien” next to “Frozen 2”.
What is Star+?
Not be mistaken with Star, Star+ is a standalone general entertainment and sports streaming service launching in most Latin American countries, complementary but independent from the Disney+ service in this market. The service will be the exclusive streaming home for general entertainment TV series and movies from The Walt Disney Company’s content studios, including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Television, Touchstone, and more, and the home for streaming live sports from ESPN, the most respected and recognized brand for sports fans in the region. From dramas, to comedies, and thrillers for adults, Star+ will also feature exclusive original programming from the Star general entertainment brand, along with a collection of local origin.
To cut a long story short, Star+ will be a separate app and will feature live sports channels which is why it’s being branded slightly different to Star.
Star+ will be available in Latin America in June 2021 for ~$7.50 per month (or the local equivalent) for the standalone service or available as a bundle with Disney+ for ~$9.00 per month (or the local equivalent).
What Does Disney+ Star Look Like?
Disney has released a few images on what Star will look. As it’s integrated directly into Disney+, it’s very similar to what we know today.
When is Hulu Coming To The UK and other countries?
Originally, Disney was planning on expanding Hulu internationally in 2021. However, for multiple reasons, Disney decided to choose a different direction and use their Star brand instead.
Comcast Corp owns a 33 percent stake in Hulu and it will be sold to Disney for at least $5.8 billion — and perhaps billions more — when a deal closes in five years or less. In some ways, Disney doesn’t want to make Hulu too valuable as they’ll have to pay the market worth to buy Hulu out from Comcast over the next few years. Adding tens of millions of subscribers to Hulu, will shoot the asking price up even higher.
Disney also believe that the Hulu has no presence outside of the US, and it makes more sense to use their Star brand which they acquired through Fox.