Will pull in content from ABC, Fox, FX, Freeform, more
Won’t have any third-party content, unlike Hulu in the US
Unclear if it will be called “Hotstar” outside India or not
Disney will launch a new general entertainment streaming service with the Star brand name in 2021 across the world, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced on the company's quarterly earnings call on Tuesday. It will bring in content from ABC Studios, Fox Television, FX, Freeform, Searchlight, and 20th Century Studios — all owned by Disney. Star already has a general entertainment service called Hotstar — available in India as Disney+ Hotstar — but Chapek didn't refer to it as that, which suggests that this will be a new service.
Disney Star India told Gadgets 360 it had no further comment on the matter.
Chapek said the new Star-branded general entertainment offering will be “fully integrated” into Disney+ in many markets. That means it could be part of Disney+ Hotstar in India. Select TV shows and movies from ABC Studios, Fox Television, FX, Searchlight, and 20th Century Studios are already available on Disney+ Hotstar, and it simply doesn't make sense to have two platforms carrying the Star brand name in the country.
Asked why Disney was launching a new Star-branded service rather than expand Hulu (a general entertainment service available in the US and Japan) worldwide, Chapek said that this new platform won't license any third-party content, unlike Hulu. That means all the content will be Disney-owned. Additionally, Chapek admitted that Hulu has “no brand awareness” nor any international licenses outside the US.
“We want to mirror the successful Disney+ strategy by using our Disney+ technical platform, rooting it in content that we already own, and distributing it under a successful international brand that we also already own, which is, of course, Star, and then bringing it to market in a very close association to Disney,” Chapek added on the quarterly earnings call.
The new Star-branded general entertainment service will launch in 2021 globally, not including the US. More information will be revealed at an upcoming Disney investors day.
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Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil