Disney to launch general-entertainment streaming service under Star in 2021

In the earnings announcement, Bob Chapek, CEO, The Walt Disney Company, said that Disney Plus surpassed 60.5 million paid subscribers globally on 3 August

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Aug 5, 2020 9:08 AM

In the earnings call on Wednesday, The Walt Disney Company announced that they will be launching a general entertainment streaming service under the Star brand in 2021. 

Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company said that given the rapid changes in consumer behaviour, it's more important than ever to continue to grow their direct relationship with consumers. He said, “We plan to launch international direct to consumer general entertainment offerings under the Star brand in the calendar year 2021. The offering will be routed to the content we own from the critically acclaimed production engines and library of ABC Studios, Fox Television, SearchLight Pictures and 21st Century Films.

In many markets, the offering will be fully integrated into their established Disney Plus platforms from both marketing and technology perspective and it will be distributed under the Star brand which has been successfully utilized by the company for the other general entertainment platform launches particularly with Disney Plus Hotstar in India. "The fact that Disney Plus has grown rapidly both domestically and globally clearly demonstrates our content value. Through the addition of Star branded general entertainment offering we are further extending our value of content internationally," Chapek added.

He also said that Disney + Hotstar will be available on September 5 in Indonesia and by the end of this year, Disney Plus will be introduced in the top ten economies of the world. “Our full portfolio of Direct- to- Consumer businesses including Disney Plus, ESPN and Hulu combined global reach now exceeds 100 million paid subscriptions. The success has made us even more confident about the future of our Direct to Consumer businesses.” He also shared that as of yesterday, Disney Plus has surpassed 60.5 subscribers globally. 

The Disney CEO also announced the premiere of its much-awaited live-action film Mulan on Disney Plus priced at $29.99 on 4 September and will be launched in theatres where Disney Plus service is not available. 

The Walt Disney Company today reported earnings for its third fiscal quarter ended June 27, 2020. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations for the quarter was a loss of $2.61 compared to income of $0.79 in the prior-year quarter.  Excluding certain items affecting comparability(1), diluted EPS for the quarter decreased by 94% to $0.08 from $1.34 in the prior-year quarter. EPS from continuing operations for the nine months ended June 27, 2020, was a loss of $1.17 compared to income of $5.97 in the prior-year period. Excluding certain items affecting comparability(1), EPS for the nine months decreased by 53% to $2.22 from $4.74 in the prior-year period. 

Results in the quarter and nine months ended June 27, 2020, were adversely impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The most significant impact was at the Parks, Experiences and Products segment as most of our theme parks and resorts were closed for the entire quarter and our cruise ship sailings were suspended. 

Chapek said: “Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we’ve continued to build on the incredible success of Disney+ as we grow our global direct-to-consumer businesses,The global reach of our full portfolio of direct-to-consumer services now exceeds an astounding 100 million paid subscriptions -- a significant milestone and a reaffirmation of our DTC strategy, which we view as key to the future growth of our company.” 

Results in the prior-year nine-month period include the consolidation of TFCF Corporation (TFCF) and Hulu LLC (Hulu) for the period March 20, 2019, through June 29, 2019, whereas the current year results of TFCF and Hulu are included for the full nine-month period. 

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