It’s been over two and a half years since Disney launched Star as its sixth general entertainment hub on Disney+ in countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan and many more.   Fully integrated into Disney+ in these markets, Star has its own dedicated brand page featuring a robust collection of general entertainment movies, television, documentaries, and more, along with Star-branded exclusive originals and local productions being created for the service.

The Star brand serves as home to thousands of hours of movies and shows from Disney General Entertainment Content, including Disney Television Studios (ABC Signature and 20th Television), FX Productions, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and more.  Most of which is released on Hulu in the United States.

Originally, when Disney+ launched the Star brand, it tried to keep the brand separate from the Disney side of the streaming service, focusing on slightly distancing itself from the core product, since shows like “Family Guy” and “Grey’s Anatomy” were very different from what was previously available on Disney+.  And when shows like “Pam & Tommy” and “The Kardashians” arrived on Disney+ internationally, Disney used the Star brand as a buffer to let audiences know it was for grown-ups!

However, as time went on, Disney started changing its strategy, with Canada and the UK almost effectively dropping any promotion of the Star brand in advertising.  They simply just promoted new films as arriving on Disney+, since there had been lots of confusion from subscribers, who thought that Star was a completely different streaming service or a premium paid add-on.  I was told earlier this week, that there are still some people who don’t click on the Star tab, because they think it’ll cost more!

But in Australia and New Zealand, Disney continued using the Star branding on all the trailers and posters.  That was until this week!  As it looks like Disney is making a global effort to slowly pull away from the Star brand on Disney+.  This doesn’t mean any difference in the content being offered on the platform, but just in how the brand is used in terms of advertising.

20th Century Studios put out a press release today for its new film, “Vacation Friends 2”, which is coming out on Friday, 25th August 2023, as an Original film on Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer Platforms.  The press release states that “the film will stream exclusively as a Hulu Original in the U.S. and internationally as an Original on Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ in all other territories”.  It’s only a slight change, but almost every press release in the past two years has said “Disney+ under the Star banner in all other territories” for any Hulu Original being released globally.

Usually, Australia gets its own trailers and posters, featuring a Disney+ Star logo.  Even the latest release, “Only Murders In The Building” featured this logo, but today, the official Australian Disney website, simply shows the Disney+ logo.

Over the past few months, not every piece of Australian marketing has included the Star logo, such the latest seasons of “The Kardashians” and “The Bear” standing out as shows without the Star logo being highlighted on marketing.  So this might have been going on for a while, but it looks like it has stepped up with the social media accounts changing.

There has been lots of speculation that Disney will eventually replace or remove the Star branding from Disney+ globally.  It was a brand that was acquired from 20th Century Fox, as an international brand used in India and always came across as a generic brand, with no connection to anything within it.

With Disney bringing Hulu into Disney+ in the United States later this year, many are expecting Hulu to possibly replace the brand or Disney+ will simply get a few more hubs in for their brands like 20th Century Studios and FX, which makes Star almost obsolete.    There have been some other warning signs of an impending change, as on many of the international Disney+ social media accounts, mentions of Star have been replaced.  In India, a Hulu hub was added to the platform overnight and, within days, quickly removed.  And most recently, a deal was announced between Disney+ and the Japanese version of Hulu!

Simplifying Disney’s marketing efforts to focusing on just promoting Disney+ will ultimately make things easier on the marketing departments, who won’t have to make different variations of posters and trailers with the Star logo, saving Disney money.  It also makes international artwork much simpler, if every country uses the same branding, and from a consumer’s point of view, it’s much simpler.

Disney may have been running experiments over the past few years in different countries with the Star branding, testing how audiences react, how they respond to advertising etc.   With most other countries worldwide dropping the Star branding from their marketing, Australia and New Zealand are now united with countries like Canada and Europe.

Will we see a further reduction of the Star branding on Disney+ around the world?  What do you think?  Let us know on social media!


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Roger Palmer

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. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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