When Disney+ launched, it did so with five main core hubs, Disney, National Geographic, Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar, containing content from those brands. Then in February, in many countries around the world, Disney+ added Star, a new general entertainment brand incorporating content from Disney’s studios, including 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, FX, ABC, Onyx, ESPN and also licensed content.
This turned Star into a generic umbrella brand, which just was a hotchpotch of brands, but for the introduction of mature content on Disney+ internationally. However, over the past couple of months, Disney has been pulling back promotion of the Star branding, leading to speculation that audiences were getting confused with what the brand was and that it was also potentially a paid add-on to Disney+.
Recently, Disney announced it would be evolving FX into a global brand, across Hulu, and the FX and FXX linear channels in the U.S, Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in all other territories. With FX is planning to double its programming output in 2022 with a target of 30 shows, 25 scripted and five unscripted. In addition to other shows, FX is making and its vast library that is already available.
Rebecca Campbell, Chairman, International and Direct-to-Consumer, The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement:
“With more than a billion hours of FX programming viewed on Hulu since the launch of the FX hub, we’ve further cemented Hulu as the home for stories that impact culture, inspire conversation, and connect with viewers in meaningful ways and we’re excited to see the brand evolve to connect with international audiences on Disney+ and Star+. FX’s award-winning adult programming is vital to our services both domestically and internationally and we want to shine a brighter light on the brand within our excellent and rapidly growing portfolio of general entertainment programming for adult audiences.”
This leads me to think that Disney is going to be pushing the FX brand even further on Disney+ and with so many well-known brands, it might be time to expand out Disney+ and to give it a little makeover, adding new hubs for its brands such as:
- 20th Century Studios
- Searchlight Pictures
- Onyx Collective
I think Disney+ is going to have to expand the Star branding because there is simply too much content within the Star tab, and it’s getting hard to find content in there. Alternatively, they could add Hubs for these brands within the Star page.
It always seemed odd to me that 20th Century Studios didn’t have its own hub within Disney+, as it’s such an established brand and has hundreds of films and shows. Plus, they could also incorporate Searchlight Pictures and 20th Television shows.
Internationally, Disney+ also has access to an extensive collection of documentaries from ESPN and with its own hub, it’ll be easier to find sports content in one place.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Hotstar content from India and other Asian countries would start to be introduced onto Disney+, so having a new Hotstar hub would keep the content separate from the general Star brand.
There might be some issues with certain brands like Onyx, which might be too new and doesn’t have enough content or with ABC, should Disney not want to expand that specific brand internationally. Both could easily sit within the generic Star brand instead, which I still think they’ll keep so they can pop anything left over that doesn’t fit into any brand, such as acquired series or international originals.
Either way, with the speed that Disney+ is expanding, that Star brand home page is going to have to be changed at some point, with other brands like Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars, having less than a hundred titles in them. Having Star with possibly 800+ titles and with many more coming, it might be time to expand it.
During a recent “Simpsons” short, Lisa Simpson showcased how Disney+ would look, possibly giving us a tease of the new hubs!
What do you think about Disney+ expanding how many hubs it has?