The launch of Star means a lot of new content for Disney Plus – but not in the US

Today’s launch marks Star. This is a new segment of Disney Plus for international audiences that will offer more mature R-rated films, TV shows from FX, and other shows and films that own the rights to Disney but fit into Disney Plus’s family-friendly image Is not.

Star is effectively a Disney solution to the fact that Hulu does not exist in international markets. It is a way for the company to expand on Disney Plus’ value proposition to offer any streaming service with the most important currency to international customers: a large library of content.

This means that international users are about to receive a huge flow of movies and shows available on Disney Plus through Star, which will not be available to US customers – or rather, available to US customers via Disney Plus Will not be. . Those shows and films will continue to be on Hulu as part of a separate service.

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

If you are an international Disney Plus customer living in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Australia. New Zealand, or Canada – regions that will get access to the star starting today – this is great news.

Conversely, if you are an American customer, you may feel cheated. The library Disney is offering on Star includes TV shows such as Family. The boy, How i met your mother, lost, Firefly, Gray anatomy, desperate Housewives, Vampire slayer, And Bones, With films like Deadpool 2, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Borat, And Brave – Movies and shows that Disney already has rights to, but require customers to pay an additional Hulu subscription to watch in the US.

This is due to a complex matrix of rights deals and revenue streams. While Star and Hulu will have a fair amount of overlap – including the Hulu original Love, victor – Hulu still has a large library in the US, including licensed shows and movies from third-party studios such as MGM and Paramount.

On the other hand, the star will be First-party content facilities Disney has rights from its studios (which include ABC, Hulu, FX, Freeform, 20th Television, 20th Century Studios, and Touchstone Pictures). Disney’s balance sheet seems to have come to the conclusion that customers are willing to pay for individual Hulu and Disney Plus libraries in the US, but that a more limited Star lineup would justify a standalone payment purchase for international customers. It was enough to stop.

Part of that difference also comes at ARPU’s Angry God (average revenue per user) – something that is on Disney’s mind as it looks to create Disney Plus worldwide. Looking at Disney’s 2020 earnings, the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming business was up 73 percent year-over-year, earning $ 3.5 billion. But it was actually made atleast The average cost of Disney Plus Hotstar in India and Indonesia is up to $ 4.03 less per customer from each customer with ARPU.

(Star, incidentally, should not be confused with Disney Plus Hotstar, which operates under the Disney Plus banner and features Disney’s original shows and movies, but pricing and distribution in the US compared to Disney Plus / Hulu Is a very different service in terms of) Disney Plus / Star in other international markets.)

Changing the star to a cheap international version of Hulu does not help fix the ARPU problem. But Disney Plus uses Hulu content to promote customers in the more attractive (per customer) markets of Europe, Australia and Canada.

She is especially Once you pay attention to the fact that Disney Star is using the rollout to raise prices from € 6.99 to € 8.99 per month in those markets for a $ 1 price increase (from $ 6.99 to $ 7.99) Marks a proportionately larger increase in comparison. Plus users in the US later this year.

And using that big pile of star stuff to sweeten the pot is the perfect answer for Disney because it already owns all of its rights. Unlike Hulu, which costs Disney a ton in license costs and ad-revenue deals, adding Star to Disney Plus internationally does not cost a penny. It just improves the things the company already owns.

This is also reflected in the branding: Last year, CEO Bob Chapek announced that it would use the Star brand internationally instead of Hulu, both citing the fact that Hulu has overall content as well as brand There is also a lack of awareness. America.

In fact, Star’s existence might be a glimpse into a possible future for Disney’s streaming efforts in the US, should Hulu be relentless as stakeholders return their licensed shows and movies to streaming services such as Mayur, Paramount Plus Continue. , Or HBO Max.

If Disney plans to offer a single integrated streaming service in the US, it is still closed in some way, though. For now, American customers need to open for the Disney Bundle (which includes Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus) if they want to stream the FX show And Vandavision.

But whether you live with Hulu in the US, or with Canada Star, there is one main winner in all of this: Disney’s bottom line.

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