The company plans to launch streaming service Star+ in Latin America in June 2021, featuring both general entertainment content and live sports
The Walt Disney Company on Thursday revealed that its direct-to-consumer services has exceeded a total of 137 million global paid subscriptions, including 11.5 million ESPN+ subscribers, 38.8 million Hulu subscribers, and a staggering 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers since its launch in November 2019. During the Investor Day presentation on Thursday, held virtually, “The tremendous success we’ve achieved across our unique portfolio of streaming services, with more than 137 million subscriptions worldwide, has bolstered our confidence in our acceleration toward a DTC-first business model,” Bob Chapek, chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company, said. The Walt Disney Company also highlighted that it now expects its streaming services to hit 300-350 million total subscriptions by fiscal 2024, driven primarily by a significant increase in content output. Disney+ alone is targeting to release more than 100 titles per year.
Building on the successful launch of Disney+ Hotstar in India and Indonesia, the company detailed its plans for Indian general entertainment content brand, Star, which will be included as part of Disney+ in select international markets, and launch as a separate streaming service in Latin America as Star+. The Star brand will serve as home to thousands of hours of television and movies from Disney’s creative studios, including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Television, and more. Further, the platform will also include local programming from the regions where available.
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. The streaming service will continue its global rollout, now with Star, in new markets beginning with Singapore on February 23, 2021, followed by Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea later in 2021.
With regards to content, Disney+ plans to release approximately 10 Star Wars series and 10 Marvel series, as well as 15 Disney live action, Disney Animation, and Pixar series, and 15 Disney live action, Disney Animation, and Pixar features — all in addition to the premium content set to premiere in theatres or on linear channels before coming to the streaming service. In addition, it was announced that Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Raya and the Last Dragon’’ will be available on Disney+ with Premier Access in most Disney+ markets, at the same time as it is released in theaters, on March 5, 2021. Internationally, many upcoming original titles from Disney Television Studios, FX and 20th Century Studios will also premiere on Disney+ as Star Originals.
According to Bob Iger, executive chairman and chairman of the Board, The Walt Disney Company, the new slate of original content reflects the company’s continuing commitment to harness the resources and immense creativity to bring audiences extraordinary entertainment experiences. “We’re proud that the unparalleled quality of our storytelling from our iconic brands remains evident across all distribution platforms, from movie theaters to our direct-to-consumer services,” he added.