Disney+ is a hit, there’s no disputing that, but something many people have been questioning is if Disney+ is the Disney streaming service, then why are they acquiring the rest of Hulu? And in Latin America, the question is asked why are Disney launching Star+ when it just launched Disney+ in this region? Well, this is going to kind of be awkward since Hulu and Star+ do not exist in my home country of the UK, but let me explain why I feel Hulu and Star+’s days are numbered.

Media Consolidation:

The first big reason is that Hulu has licensed content from various TV networks and film studios NOT owned by Disney. Why does this matter? Hulu will lose a large portion of its library over time, and Disney will need to constantly plug the holes with content from their mature TV channels and film studios like Freeform, ABC, FX, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures, to name the big ones. As more TV channels are acquired or shuttered, Hulu will be frantically running around trying to avoid losing its head especially considering they will one day lose The Handmaids Tale to Prime Video.

People Are Already Paying For Multiple Services. They Don’t Want To Buy Too Many:

A study was done about a year ago showed that the average American is willing to pay for two to three streaming services now factor in the ones currently available in the US, which include Disney+, Hulu, Starzplay, Netflix, HBO Max, Discovery+, Britbox, AcornTV, Funimation, Crunchyroll, Epix, Prime Video, Paramount+, AppleTV+, Peacock, DAZN and ESPN+ just to name a few. But Disney has the Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu bundle, so why would they want another service? This would be a fair point in Disney+ and Hulu were one service as that would be the major “Netflix Competitor”, and ESPN+ is a specialised niche service which would only interest sports fans. Basically, the audience for something like ESPN+ or Britbox or Funimation is different to that of Disney+ and Hulu.


People Want Convenience:

Remember when Netflix launched its streaming service, and you could find basically every film from any major studio in one place? Now, if you want to access the entire streaming libraries of Disney and 20th Century Studios (excluding films tied up at HBO), you will need to buy both Disney+ and Hulu, which would cause you to pay for a service you may not want even if you have Netflix or Prime Video just to access a library of around the same size. if you pay for the Disney Streaming Bundle, you may not want Disney+ or Hulu or ESPN+, but you need to pay for all three of them on top of any other services you are paying for like Spotify, Netflix, Audible, HBO Max, Amazon Prime etc. People want convenience and want to pay for as few streaming services as possible and get as much content they enjoy for the price they pay.

The Case For Star+:

In Latin America, Disney is launching Star+, a general entertainment service that will basically be Latin America’s version of Hulu but with the live sports of ESPN tied into it. Star+ will launch on August 31st 2021, and will offer series and movies from Disney’s “mature” brands like FX, ABC, Freeform, Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Studios etc. Whilst countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland and Europe got Star as a sixth Disney+ “brand” tile and Indian, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia will get it or have it as Disney+ Hotstar, the Latin American service Star+ is separate from the already established Disney+.


My Opinion:

Disney shouldn’t be launching Star+ and should just merge them into Disney+. As for Hulu, it has about 40 Million subs in the US, but I feel as if Disney should roll it into Disney+ and only use the libraries that it controls from its many acquisitions. Hear me out on this, Disney merges Disney+ and Hulu into one service and does the same with Star+, then Disney gives Disney+ two plans $4.99 with ads and something like $8.99 without ads, offer a wide range of Disney owned series and movies everything from Disney Junior to FX, from Pixar Animation to Searchlight Pictures.

 

This is just an idea that swirled in my mind. What do you think? Do you think Disney+ will absorb Star+ and Hulu?

 

My Twitter is realENHolloway.









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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7 Comments

  1. Tony June 13, 2021

    I think they will have to merge at some point. There are going to be too many VOD providers and there will inevitably be losers who fall by the wayside. Atm, possibly Peacock for one. One problem Disney+ has is simply the name. Disney has connotations and people tend to see that and assume it’s basically for kids/ family entertainment. Major publicity will be needed to persuade viewers that there is more to it than that. I’ve seen some adverts here in the UK to try to show that but I’m not sure it’s enough at present.

  2. Itsme June 13, 2021

    I think Disney+ will eventually gain full control of Hulu! As I am in Ireland we dont have Hulu either a lot of stuff is on Star and more added to it every week I would just like the guarantee that all Fox animation and Hulu originals that are not on Star yet will be added to give these shows a wider audience in on international level might help ratings and secure renewals like Helstrom and Bless the Harts both got cancelled before were aired outside US or least before they came Ireland or UK

  3. Tony June 13, 2021

    Oh, Helstrom, yes! I was enjoying that before I found out it was essentially a waste of time watching it. Same for Next.

    1. Itsme June 14, 2021

      Yeah I am guessing a lot of people were the same outside the US Rebel got the axe in the US and is only currently airing now I have no idea about ratings on any of these shows it just I watched all of Helstrom and would watch another season you sound like you were enjoying it to its just a thought I had if a millom people out the US had same idea it have survived it was aired globally simultaneously

  4. Matt A June 14, 2021

    As someone who lives in the US I wish we had something like the star brand on Disney+ here. It would make the service even better and possibly gain more subscriber here. I love Disney+ and wish we were getting the content that is being added to the Star brand in other countries here in the US. I don't want to have to get the bundle just to get the same content. I do agree that it would be more convenient to have all of the Disney owned content in one app and not have to go back and forth between Hulu and Disney+. If they can merge Disney+ and Hulu into one and maybe have ESPN+ as a bundle or as a paid add on I think would be a good idea. To have the Star brand in every other country except for here in the US just because we have Hulu doesn't make sense to me given the fact that we have so many streaming services to choose for here its almost to much. That would just be one less for people to choose from and not have to decide if they want the bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ or not. Also it would make Disney+ even bigger here with the addition of all of that content that the Star brand has and is getting. Plus that would be one less service Disney has to manage then they put of there focus on Disney+ and ESPN+.

    1. ItsMe June 14, 2021

      That's a good point! I think Hulu will eventually be consumed because as you said why is does Disney+ off this content on Star outside the US I'd say they are just fulfilling contract obligations before either shutting down Hulu in the US or removing all the content they own from the library and rebrand Disney+ in the US

  5. Daniel June 14, 2021

    I think the merging of Hulu etc. With DISNEY + seems sensible. I would also argue that espn should be incorporated into DISNEY + as well. I am personally not into sports but it would increase the take up of DISNEY + which is all for the best.