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
    • FX
    • ESPN
    • ABC
    • Hotstar
    • 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?

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: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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  1. Daniel Tilley December 6, 2021

    I completely agree with this. Star feels like it is too crowded, unfocused and dominating the other tabs. I would be very happy to see star split into several tabs on Disney +. Happy for Star to stay but perhaps covering ABC Oynx and other material that Disney gets from elsewhere e.g. Sony films, Channel 4 series etc.

    1. Snorebutt December 7, 2021

      This probably wouldn't have happened if the world had Hulu. Oh, wait. I forgot. Universal and Disney won't play ball. I predicted that Star was a mistake. But, big companies that are too big to fall don't want to listen to nobodies. Now, Disney+'s Star hub is a mess. Who's laughing now, Disney?

      1. Jon Potter December 9, 2021

        But Star isn’t a mistake. It’s greatly stabilised Disney+ internationally and is a very varied brand. Frankly, I really don’t like the idea of creating sub-brands for it because that’ll just fragment the library further, not organise it.

  2. Nathan Donnelly December 7, 2021

    Is the Hub coming to the US as well or is it for international Disney+.

  3. Daniel Tilley December 7, 2021

    Hi Roger I have been thinking more about these tabs on Disney+ (as opposed to collections)*. To justify its existence a tab (to my mind) needs to have a theme (usually based around a studio or channel or in the case of Star for Mature content), significant backlog material associated with it, and be producing regular new material** for Disney+. Let’s go through each tab in turn Disney-Material produced by Disney studios covering Disney films, Disney Channel and Disney Nature; Has significant back catalogue associated with it. New material from each being added but could be added on a more regular basis. I do feel if they dumped all of Disney back catalog of films and TV on this tab and got sorted out getting Disney Channel material on to the tab on a regular basis, they might have to consider splitting this tab as well. Pixar-Material produced/associated with Pixar; Has a reasonable back catalog but pretty much all that material is already on Disney+ (Buzz Lightyear of Star Command comes to mind but that is about it); New material-out of all the tabs this seems to produce the least new material (though Covid did mean we Disney+ got ‘Soul’ and ‘Luca’ as originals) roll-on 2023 when we get there first long form series. At the moment I feel Pixar is the tab that does not completely justify itself (just my opinion, and I do love Pixar and want it to justify itself) as part of Disney+. I had hoped they would subsume Blue Sky studios into the Pixar brand to expand their content, but it did not happen. Marvel-Material produced by Marvel studios and Material associated with Marvel comics; Has a reasonable back catalog and still has a few pieces to release (Wolverine and the X-Men, X-Men Evolution, Avengers: United they Stand, The New Mutants, Fantastic Four, X-Men: First Class, Daredevil (Film), Elektra, Cloak and Dagger) at least in the UK. Also regularly releasing new material on Disney+, in fact if I calculate correctly, we could have over 50+ weeks of marvel material released in 2022. My only issue is they have not put Helstrom under the marvel tab Star Wars- Material produced by Lucasfilm that is associated with Star Wars. Has a significant back catalog but most of this has now been released on Disney+ (The Star Wars holiday special being a notable exception). New material is being released reasonably regularly and now with ‘The Book of Boba Fett’, ’Obi Wan Kenobi’ and ‘Andor’ that situation will only improve; My only issue with the Star Wars tab, I would prefer it was called ‘Lucasfilm’ and they could bring in other material such as ‘Willow’, ‘Indiana Jones’ and any other material they produce, as I feel that Star Wars on its own is not enough to sustain the tab (again just my opinion). National Geographic- Material produced for the National geographic channels and produced by/for National Geographic for Disney+; Has a significant back catalog (I suspect there is a lot more they could add); Seems to be putting new material on the tab regularly (I suspect they could also add more on a regular basis as well). Star – Material seems to be included based on it belonging to studios without their own tabs and being mature content (which means it is a bit of a mess). Has an excellent back catalog of material and so much that has not been released (could easily overwhelm all other content on Disney+). If Star were to be split up then the question are which studios have significant back catalog of material, and are producing enough new material to justify their own tab. Based on this I think the following tabs are appropriate • 20th Century/Searchlight (not sure if we add Searchlight to 20th Century or to FX) • FX • Hotstar • ESPN (I am not a sports fan but I like the idea of adding sports as it will bring in new subscribers) • Star (ABC, Oynx, Material bought in by Disney plus i.e., Sony, Channel 4 etc.) That gives us 10 tabs much more focused around studios, and we keep the Star tab as a brand as there will always be material that does not quite fit with the other studios. Just wanted to share my thinking on what Disney+ could do *Tabs collect significant themed material together , and on a regular basis update the tab with new material. The only way to put material on Disney+ is under a tab. Collections put themed material together, but are usually more focused than tabs and when new material is added to Disney plus it does not necessarily get added to a collection **As I am in the UK, I am not just talking about Disney+ originals, but also material not released in any format previously in the UK (produced in the last five years)

    1. Dan December 13, 2021

      I agree Helstrom should be under the Marvel hub as it's based on Marvel Comics and would get more viewers if people knew it was a Marvel TV show. I read somewhere that it wasn't included in the Marvel hub due to it not being family-friendly, but that seems to no longer be an issue as numerous Marvel films and TV shows that have high age ratings like Deadpool and Legion are now in there are well.

  4. ScionStorm December 7, 2021

    Even in U.S. 20th Century should have its own tab. Also, Star Wars tab should be changed to Lucasfilm. With the Sony library deal next year, Sony could have its own tab. I'd also like to see a Jim Henson Company tab for all the Muppets content as well as the Dinosaurs show and Bear in the Big Blue House and the new Earth To Ned series. So there's my recommendation for US. Change Star Wars to Lucasfilm, add 20th Century, Sony and Jim Henson Company.