On February 23rd 2021, Disney launched a general entertainment tab as the sixth “core brand” on Disney+ (outside the US and Latin America), which offers titles from Disney’s General Entertainment brands like ABC, FX and 20th Century Studios; this hub is called “Star”.

One recent criticism of the “Star” hub is it offers so many titles from different networks and studios, that it has become a slog to navigate.  As there are more films and shows in the Star brand hub than in the other five brand hubs combined.  Plus it’s only getting bigger each week.

So let me explain why Disney should improve the “Star” hub and add more “core brands” for content from other Disney subsidiaries.

All of these new “core brands”, which I am mentioning in this article, should be added to Disney+ worldwide.

Core Brand Number Six: ABC/Freeform

With Disney owning hundreds of series which fall under the ABC brand, in my home country of the UK, we have ABC shows like “Big Sky”, “Lost”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Modern Family” and “Blackish” available through the “Star” brand, so why not give ABC it’s own dedicated hub? Better yet, Disney could add Freeform content into this section, as initially, the Freeform channel was called ABC Family. Now there would be some notable exemptions from this section like “The Muppets” as they are full marketed as a “Disney” franchise now, as well as any other content that was created for ABC but carries the “Disney” name on its branding.

Since Freeform isn’t a global brand on its own, so I’d add Freeform shows and movies into this hub as well.  This would include shows like “Good Trouble”, “The Fosters”, “Single Drunk Female” and “Grownish”, which could fit in with shows produced by sister network ABC.

However, there could be a problem using ABC as a brand globally, for example, in Australia, there is already a different ABC (Australian Broadcast Company), so if Disney were to use the ABC name in Australia, then Disney would need to make some type of deal or rebrand to avoid confusion.

Core Brand Number Seven: 20th Century Studios/Searchlight Pictures

Let’s talk about an obvious one, 20th Century Studios should have its own hub, which includes content from other assets acquired through the 2019 Disney/20th Century Fox merger. Disney could utilise this hub for people to find content from 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, Blue Sky Studios and 20th Television. Some titles Disney could put under this hub includes “The Simpsons”, “Avatar”, “Alita Battle Angel”, “Home Alone”, “Mrs Doubtfire”, “The Book Of Life”, and “Night At The Museum”.

20th Century has produced a lot of content over the years, and having a dedicated hub to be able to search through their history of classic movies and modern blockbusters, much like you can do with the “Disney” hub then I don’t see why they can’t do this for 20th Century Studios. 20th Century needs its own hub as the “Star” hub is too cluttered, and movies from 20th Century are mixed with films from Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures and ABC.

Core Brand Number Eight: FX

This one is probably the most likely to happen, for those that don’t know FX is a premium cable channel, similar to HBO. FX has become known for programming like “American Horror Stories”, “Dave”, “Atlanta”, and “What We Do In The Shadows” over the years and used to have its own streaming app called FX+. Now, why is this tab more likely than some of the others? It’s simple really, John Landgraf (FX’s chairman) and Rebecca Campbell (Head of Disney Direct-To-Consumer International) have both said they want FX to become a “Global Brand”.

Disney+’s sister service Hulu already offers an FX collection, and Disney+ has been growing globally so, why not give people the ability to discover FX’s premium content under its own banner? It makes too much sense not to happen.

Core Brand Number Nine: Hotstar

Now I know what some of you are thinking, wait, Hotstar? Isn’t that the South East Asia version of Disney+? Yes, it is, but Hotstar is also a standalone streaming service primarily focused on content from South-East Asia countries, especially content produced in India. Hotstar operates in the UK, Canada and Singapore as a standalone service. The service operated in the US until late 2021 where it was shuttered, and the content was moved to Hulu. The reason I feel Disney should utilise the Hotstar brand on Disney+ as a potential way to expose its Hotstar content to a new audience.

Disney owns Hotstar, UTV Communications and Star India and all of their subsidiaries, so Disney has been able to grab many titles from India. Some titles Disney owns thanks to these acquisitions include, “Chance Pe Dance”, “Kai Po Che!”, and “Fitoor”, all of which could be distributed worldwide through Hotstar hub on Disney+. Disney has already moved all of the Hotstar content in the US into Hulu, so why not do the same internationally with the standalone Hotstar service in the remaining countries it operates in and just add the content under a tab within Disney+? It makes it easier for consumers to enjoy and discover this content across the globe.

Core Brand Number Ten: Star

Okay, I know what some of you are thinking, but let me explain. This whole article has been discussing new “Core Brands” within Disney+, which would be used to slim down how much content is shoved under the “Star” banner. So if Disney integrates the other banners mentioned in this article then, what would this potential new “Star” banner be populated with?  Basically, any content that doesn’t fit in with the other brands.

If Disney takes this article as a bit of advice and integrates all these brands, then Disney+ would have the following “Core Brands”.

  • Disney
  • Pixar
  • Marvel
  • Star Wars
  • National Geographic
  • Star
  • ABC (including Freeform’s content)
  • 20th Century Studios (including Searchlight and 20th Television content)
  • FX
  • Hotstar

Now you could merge Hotstar into this new “Star” tab, which would have the same effect. This tab would be made of content that doesn’t fit with the over brands so shows like “Pam and Tommy” and “The D’amelio Show” as well as upcoming series which are available on Disney+ in certain regions like “Snowdrop” and “Tokyo MER”.

Since Disney+ hasn’t fully gotten into the sports space in most countries, making an ESPN hub might be confusing for some users, but with dozens of ESPN documentaries available on Disney+ in the UK, the Star hub could also be a home for this content.  Until Disney is ready to add live sports into Disney+ around the world , a ESPN hub might have some issues.

Star could also be an excellent place to put films from Disney’s other mature studios,  such as Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures and Buena Vista.  Disney used these brands for over thirty years, but now they have 20th Century Studios, they have stopped using this branding, and the TV studios have merged with 20th TV.

They put out Touchstone movies like “Splash”,  “Strange Magic”, “Confessions Of A Shopaholic”, and “Gnomeo and Juliet”.  In addition to films from Hollywood Pictures like “Ernest Saves Christmas” and “While You Were Sleeping”.

It could also be an excellent place to add third-party licensed content, with films and shows made by other companies.

Final Thoughts:

Disney+ has always meant Disney “plus” more, but its “core brands” have never really conveyed that. When Disney added the “Star” hub within Disney+, it felt as if Disney had added a mini Netflix within its Disney+ app. However, the biggest downside has been navigating the “Star” hub due to how much content they label under that banner.

This article merely suggests what Disney can do to improve the “core brand” collections to make it easier to find content. Personally, I think Disney should have two rows of “core brands” on the homepage; on the first row, one would be Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and Hulu/Star. Disney+ would have the ABC, 20th Century Studios, FX, and Hotstar hubs in the second row.

I wrote this to convey my frustration with using the “Star” hub. If Disney doesn’t want to give all the brands listed above their own Disney+ tab on the homepage, the least Disney could do is to put a mini homepage within the “Star” hub for ABC, FX, 20th Century Studios, and Hotstar.

Either way, Disney needs to make the collection of content under “Star” more straightforward to find throughout Disney+. I feel as if doing something to the “Star” hub to make content easier to find within the hub would be helpful for many subscribers.

What Do You Think? Should Disney+ Ditch The “Star” Brand?

Ethan Holloway

Ethan "Neil" Holloway is a huge Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar fan who grew up with Disney movies like Iron Man and The Lion King. Ethan has always been fascinated by movies especially ones that give a fair representation to those of disabled backgrounds and hopes to one day publish a novel with Disney Publishing Worldwide. You can call Ethan the "Disney Anime Guy" if you want.

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  1. Melchior January 8, 2022

    This is total nonsense. Disney+ doesn't need more brands / hubs, but rather improved search functions and improved local organization. Outside of the English language, Disney+ has many errors that make a targeted search almost impossible. Within the search function there is only the option to search for the English titles of the productions or with the titles in the selected language of the profile. (Searches in all languages ​​are possible on Netflix, regardless of the selected profile language) The problem with this is that quite a few productions are wrongly titled in all sorts of languages. And quite a few productions also have wrong logos. That makes the search more difficult because you first have to know what the wrong title of the production is. And as more and more non-English language productions come in, the problem worsens. Another problem is that all hubs are basically pointless. It is not possible to search for productions within the hubs. Again, you first have to know which productions are available on Disney+ in order to be able to search for them. And the current overview with supposedly all titles is unusable. On the one hand, because not all productions are listed, on the other hand, the overview with genre is a huge disaster. Some productions also do not appear in the current overview because no main genre has been assigned to them in the system. It would be ideal if Disney+ took over the search functions and the algorithm from Netflix. In addition, Disney is to take over the global local teams of Netflix in the course of this. Because these teams don't make as many avoidable mistakes as Disney's. Also, every week there isn't so much content that a person in every language region can't check it for errors. It doesn't need 100 brands / hubs. Disney+ as a single brand would work fine. Also through the children's profiles. It just needs good organization, a targeted search function and a learned algorithm.

    1. Roger Palmer January 8, 2022

      Totally agree the search functions need much more work, but also the Star hub is a mess.

  2. Jon January 8, 2022

    I absolutely agree that Star could be improved. But I'm not sure that going from one extreme to the other in terms of brands is a great idea either. I think there's a danger of getting lost in submenus if Disney isn't careful.

  3. Daniel Tilley January 8, 2022

    Yes I completely agree with this article

  4. Eoin January 8, 2022

    Why not keep the main page as is and include the additional tabs within the star tile. The main page will contain the 6 tiles as is to maintain a streamlined presentation and not be cluttered. Then within Star you have the additional tabs FX, 20th C Fox etc

  5. Faisal January 8, 2022

    I disagree with this article for the most part. FX is the only one that I think needs a separate tile. Star is meant to house everything else. Tbh if it was upto me I'd turn the implementation into something like that on Hulu - Hulu’s Hubs that is. The main page doesn't need to concern people about which "brand" of content they are watching.

  6. Snorebutt January 8, 2022

    Disney Plus would have been better if Hulu was available worldwide. But, as experts have said before, that would make NBCUniversal rich instead of Disney, which, by the way, doesn't really make any sense. Instead, the world got what we international Hulu fans call "crappy-ass diet Hulu", otherwise known as Star. Now, because of this, people like me need a VPN... and probably a second Disney Plus account. Disney wouldn't give the outside world Hulu because they were being babies about Universal. Peacock stinks, BTW. Australia was ready for Hulu, and got betrayed. I'm still keeping my account, but Disney's refusal to bring Hulu worldwide and being reminded of the Star brand's existence angers me to the brink.

    1. Human Number 5927329861 January 8, 2022

      Did you complete high school or you dropped out before that? Or is your country's education system that backward that you don't understand basic business concepts? I'm sorry I usually don't write mean comments like this to strangers on the internet but your comment is outright stupid.

  7. Steven Gracey January 8, 2022

    I feel that with that Star Tab, or even holster tab, you can instead make it like a digital version of EPCOT.....you can organize shows and movies by country to celebrate each country's unique storytelling and art. So it can be organized in alphabetical order in the star hub by country with 1 row for shows, 1 for movies and another row for collections perhaps? I'm in the U.S. so I sadly don't have Star yet, and I'm too cheap for Hulu...so hope your suggestions get used as I think they are great ideas

  8. Aditya Sinha January 9, 2022

    Just FYI, Hotstar also has catalogs of HBO and Showtime as well.

  9. No one January 9, 2022

    I completely disagree, If they made a hub for every brand that Is related to fox then what's even the point of making the star brand? The star brand and tile Is made, so every fox brands (including abc and freeform) Is In one place, It Is also made to avoid confusion and lack of navigation to subscribers. The only "improvement" star really needs Is advertising so people know what the star brand and tile offers, I know It has been done before but they just advertised the brand very badly. And next time when they are advertising a star related title they should really title It as "streaming only In star on disney+".

  10. Dan January 9, 2022

    I think there is still value in having one unified "for adults" section like Star within Disney+, especially as many people still incorrectly believe Disney+ "only has kids stuff". It seems like a waste for Disney+ to have a marketing campaign to build up recognition of the Star brand, only to relegate it to being an "other" category for anything that can't justify its own hub.

  11. S-Mania January 9, 2022

    I agree with this article and some of the comments here to a point. I do agree the Star Hub needs more work and also agree the search function needs more work (eg: having a search function or filter for the different brands, having filters for other things like the actors, type of movie or show etc). I don't like the idea of having more brands, I think 6 is enough for now (especially if Disney is going to buy more companies or add a ESPN+ hub for sports and live sports or something like that), considering that on the mobile layout, there is already 2 layers of Disney+. You don't want to make the hubs too small on mobile as to make them unappealing or insignificant. I also don't want it to make the homepage too crowded. I like the idea of having the sub tabs in the Star tab to make things clean, but I also think it would make the Star hub even more crowded and confusing than it is now. So I don't know what to do that would be good for everyone without causing problems or bringing back the original issue we were trying to fix in the first place. Having them all on the homepage makes the homepage too crowded, having them in the Star tab (while it would make the homepage more clean and give Star some hubs for its different brands because without it, many people don't know which movie/show came from which studio) makes the Star tab too crowded and more confusing. It's hurting my brain trying to come up with a solution, guys! 😭😭😭

  12. Alex January 10, 2022

    Way too much. For now make it: 1) Disney 2) Pixar 3) Marvel 4) Star Wars 5) Nat Geo 6) FX 7) 20th Century 8) Hulu/STAR/HOTSTAR (Depending on Location) The end.