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.
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+.
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?
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