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Disney+ launches Star streaming channel aimed at adults

Star gives Disney a valuable global streaming outlet for a wider range of content.

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MUMBAI: Disney+ has launched a new general entertainment service Star in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, giving the company a new streaming outlet for more adult-oriented programming.

Disney+ with Star had also been launched in Singapore, the first market where Disney+ has launched with the new Star offering. Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea are due to follow later this year. After its initial launch in November 2019, Disney+ is now in dozens of territories.

In Europe, the Star service will cost €8.99 per month or €89.90 per year, with a similar pricing in the other launch markets.

The Star section of Disney+ will not be available to US subscribers, but a lot of the content included through Star is already streaming on Hulu.

Hulu will continue to offer Disney-owned movies and shows for older viewers in the US, while Star will be its entertainment brand for older viewers outside of the US.

The expansion of Star gives Disney a valuable global streaming outlet for a wider range of content, especially for in house shows. It took over the operations of Star, a potent force in linear TV and streaming in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, in 2019 as part of the $71.3 billion acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox.

Thousands of hours of content from Disney General Entertainment are featured on the new Star offering. Suppliers under that tent include Disney Television Studios (ABC Signature and Twentieth Television), FX Productions, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures.

Star will premiere more than 35 new originals from Disney Television Studios in international markets. More than 35 first-run series are all set to premiere by the end of 2021. Titles will be differentiated by region. The service also plans locally produced originals in select regions.

Library series on Star include Grey’s Anatomy, 24, The X-Files, Lost, Family Guy, Atlanta, black-ish and Scandal. Films include The Favourite and The Grand Budapest Hotel, along with classics such as Pretty Woman, Die Hard 2, The Devil Wears Prada and Moulin Rouge.

Star is included with the standard price of Disney+, but that price will go up when Star launches on February 23. Prices will increase by about 33 per cent on average, though it depends on the region. 

As part of the launch, Disney+ has also added new parental controls. The beefed-up tools include the ability to set limits on access to content for specific profiles based on content ratings and the ability to add a PIN to lock profiles with access to mature content. The controls will be available on Disney+ in the US as well as internationally.

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