Today marks the launch of the stars. This is a new part of Disney Plus, for international audiences, and will provide more mature R-rated movies, FX TV shows and other shows and movies owned by Disney but not suitable for the family-friendly image of Disney Plus.
The star is actually Disney’s solution to Hulu that does not exist in the international market. It marks the company’s way to extend Disney Plus’s value proposition to international customers with the most critical currency that any streaming service must provide: a larger content library.
This means that international users will flood into movies and TV shows on Disney Plus through Star, and American customers will not be able to use these movies and shows, or American users will not be able to watch movies and TV shows through Disney Plus. . These shows and movies will continue to be broadcast live on Hulu as part of a separate service.
If you are a Disney International plus international customer and live in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada-a region that will have the opportunity to use Star starting today-this is good news.
On the contrary, if you are a US customer, you may feel cheated. The library provided by Disney on Star includes TV shows, such as Family Gay, how I Met Your Mother, lost, firefly, Grey Intern, Desperate housewife, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with bone, And similar movies Deadpool 2, Kingsman: Secret Service, Borat, with brave Heart -The movies and shows show that Disney already owns the rights to Disney, but it requires customers to pay an additional Hulu subscription fee to watch them in the United States.
This is due to the complex matrix of rights transactions and income streams.Although Star and Hulu will have a lot of overlap-including things like Love victor -Hulu in the United States still has a larger library that includes shows and movies licensed by third-party studios such as MGM and Paramount.
On the other hand, Star can only play first-party content that Disney has the right to obtain from its own studios (including ABC, Hulu, FX, Freeform, 20th Television, 20th Century Studios and Touchstone Pictures). Disney’s balance sheet seems to come to the conclusion that subscribers are willing to pay for independent Hulu and Disney Plus libraries in the United States, but the Star series products are more limited, which is enough to prove that international customers can purchase and pay independently.
Part of this distinction also comes down to the god of anger of ARPU (average revenue per user)-when Disney hopes to establish Disney Plus on a global scale, this has attracted widespread attention from Disney. Judging from Disney’s 2020 earnings, the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming business grew by 73% year-on-year, with revenue of US$3.5 billion.But in fact less On average revenue per customer, ARPU dropped to US$4.03 per subscriber, mainly due to the greatly reduced cost of Disney Plus Hotstar in India and Indonesia.
(By the way, the star should not be confused with Disney Plus Hotstar, which operates under the Disney Plus banner and features Disney’s original shows and movies, but is completely different from the US Disney Plus/Hulu in terms of pricing and distribution. Others Disney Plus/Star in the international market.)
Turning Star into a cheap international version of Hulu will not solve the ARPU problem. However, the use of Hulu content increases the number of Disney Plus subscribers in more profitable (by customer) markets such as Europe, Australia and Canada.
That is especially When you consider the fact that Disney is also using the “Starry Sky” promotion to increase prices in these markets from 6.99 euros to 8.99 euros per month, its increase will be $1 (from $6.99 to $7.99) planned by Disney. The increase is proportional to the addition of users in the United States later this year.
Moreover, using a lot of Star content to add to the color pool is a perfect answer for Disney, because it already owns all Disney rights. Unlike Hulu, Hulu spends a lot of licensing fees and advertising revenue transactions on Disney, while adding Star to Disney Plus internationally is not a penny. It can better monetize what the company already owns.
This is even reflected in the brand itself: Last year, CEO Bob Chapek announced that it would use the Star brand on an international scale instead of Hulu, due to the fact that Hulu has an association with aggregated content and lacks brand awareness outside of the world. United States.
In fact, if Hulu is ultimately unsustainable because stakeholders continue to re-examine its licensed programs and movies for their streaming services (such as Peacock, Paramount Plus), then the existence of Xingkongxing may herald The future prospects of Disney’s streaming media in the United States. Or HBO Max.
However, if Disney plans to provide a unified streaming service in the United States, there is still some way to go. Currently, if American customers want to broadcast FX programs, they must purchase Disney packages (including Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus) with Wanda Vision.
But whether you live in the US with Hulu or in Canada with Star, there is a major winner in all this: Disney’s bottom line.