Recently, YouTuber Grace Randolph posted a tweet onto Twitter, saying that Disney+ would be getting a new adult section for Fox and Touchstone content. This has made many fans excited about what could be coming to Disney+ in the future.
Earlier this year, Disney+ got lots of negative attention over its decision to move “High Fidelity” and “Love, Victor” to Hulu, in addition to a major backlash to how the production on the upcoming “Lizzie McGuire” series was struggling to fit within the family-friendly mandate. It’s been noticeable in the past few months that Disney has been pushing the boundaries a little more, with the inclusion of hits like “Hamilton”.
Only recently there have been surveys about potential new family-friendly library shows coming to Disney+ such as “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Modern Family”, “Firefly” and others.
Many might point to the existence of Hulu as a reason why Disney+ doesn’t have more general entertainment shows and movies, as it would make more sense for this content to be made available there. Only earlier this month, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced another streaming service called “Star” would be launched internationally, which would offer general entertainment shows and movies from its brands ABC, Touchstone, FX, Freeform, Searchlight Pictures and 20th Century Studios. He also said that “Star” would be “fully integrated into our established Disney+ platform from both a marketing and a technology perspective”.
In the next few months, Disney is going to be outlining its future plans for its streaming platforms at an Investors Day event. Where it will be revealing more details on its new international “Star” streaming service and its plans for Disney+ and Hulu.
At last years Investors Day event, Disney announced the launch date and price of Disney+, along with lots of other details including their predictions for how many subscribers they wanted for the new streaming service. Disney has already within its first year of launching, hit its 5-year target for global subscribers, so Disney will want to continue to expand on those numbers and more importantly, with the Coronavirus changing everything, Disney is more committed than ever to the world of streaming.
Also just weeks prior to last years Investor Day event, Disney had only just closed the deal to purchase 20th Century Fox. So it was very clear that the main focus was pushing the Disney branding and they needed time to work out what to do with those Fox brands. Over the past year, they’ve removed the “Fox” from everything and sorted out what these brands will be.
As Grace points out, the app would need to have more parental controls such as a pin code to keep the content away from younger audiences (and hopefully an option to disable this if you wanted to).
There are a few potential things I think Grace’s tweet could point too:
20th Century Studios/Touchstone Sections
When Disney+ launched, it didn’t have much content from both 20th Century Studios or Touchstone studios to warrant having its own section. Disney was trying to send a clear message about what Disney+ was and, it can’t be disputed that Disney got that messaging across clear, as Disney+ is a staple for families now. Over the past year, Disney has added more content from those brands, such as the X-Men movies, but more importantly, we could see more family-friendly content added in the future. Though because of Hulu and the upcoming “Star” international expansion, it can’t ever fully offer everything from these divisions. But adding R rated content like Deadpool or Logan within the basic Disney+ subscription might be too much of a step forward.
Star Disney+ Expansion
Disney has already said they want to launch a new streaming service internationally called “Star”, which will feature the following brands
20th Century Studios
With the success of Disney+, I wouldn’t be surprised to see “Star” to be an add-on to Disney+, with over 60 million subscribers globally already, it would make more sense to build on that success and make Disney+ the gateway into Disney’s library. Looking at the upcoming release of “Mulan” as a premium purchase means Disney is happy to start adding additional paid content within its app.
Disney+ Hotstar is a huge success in India and it offers a variety of tiers, much like many other streaming platforms such as Peacock, NowTV and Amazon. This also gets around the rated R and TV-MA content, because subscribers will have to opt-in and pay for this additional content.
More Hulu Intergration
As far as the US goes, things are a little more complicated with Hulu. Disney has been wanting to push its Disney Streaming Bundle, so fans get access to all three services, Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. A third of Hulu is still owned by Comcast, which Disney has a deal to purchase within the next few years, but with Disney CEO Bob Chapek saying that Hulu isn’t a brand internationally and isn’t being expanded, Hulu is in a strange place. “Star” is going to be much simpler than Hulu, which offers live TV, ad-supported options, lots of licensed content and more.
Could “Star” be made available in the US at the same time as Hulu? Could Hulu subscribers just get access to the Disney owned content via Disney+?
Disney isn’t going to make its entire back catalogue available at the price Disney+ currently is, so offering different an additional tier would increase revenues and provide additional options to consumers. Adding these brands would give a huge explosion of possible franchises to explore such as Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, Aliens, Predator, Planet of the Apes, Die Hard and the massive back-catalogue of Fox movies. Along with the huge collection of ABC shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Good Doctor, Lost, Black-ish and many more. Plus Hulu Originals and FX shows.
Hopefully, we will find out soon enough at the upcoming Investors Day event, which will be taking place in the next few months. One thing is for certain, the Coronavirus has changed Disney’s plans, speeding them up, but also addressing that Disney+ is the future of the company.
What do you think of more adult mainstream content being added to Disney+?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.