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Disney passes 137m streaming subscribers

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The Walt Disney Company this week revealed the ambitious next steps in its global streaming expansion at its 2020 Investor Day, with new details on the future of its direct-to-consumer services Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, the first look at its upcoming international general entertainment content brand, Star, and previews of an exceptional slate of new content.

Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and Bob Iger, executive chairman, led the virtual event, which included presentations from leaders of the company’s content and distribution teams.

Chapek said: “The tremendous success we’ve achieved across our unique portfolio of streaming services, with more than 137 million subscriptions worldwide, has bolstered our confidence in our acceleration toward a DTC-first business model. With our amazing creative teams and our ever-growing collection of the high-quality branded entertainment that consumers want, we believe we are incredibly well-positioned to achieve our long-term goals.”

During the Investor Day presentation, the company announced that, as of 2 December, its portfolio of direct-to-consumer services has exceeded a total of 137 million global paid subscriptions, including 11.5 million ESPN+ subscribers, 38.8 million Hulu subscribers, and a staggering 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers since its launch in November 2019.

After greatly exceeding expectations, The Walt Disney Company shared guidance that it now expects its streaming services to hit 300-350 million total subscriptions by fiscal 2024, driven primarily by a significant increase in content output. Disney+ alone is targeting to release more than 100 titles per year.

Beginning March 26, 2021, Disney+ will be priced in the U.S. at $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year, while the Disney Bundle with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ will be priced at $13.99 per month.

A New International Star in Streaming

Building on the successful launch of Disney+ Hotstar in India and Indonesia, Disney shared new details for its international general entertainment content brand, Star, which will be included as part of Disney+ in select international markets, and launch as a separate streaming service in Latin America as Star+.

The Star brand will serve as home to thousands of hours of television and movies from Disney’s creative studios, including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, and 20th Television.

Star will launch in Europe and several other international markets on 23 February 2021 as a fully integrated part of Disney+, with its own branded tile and a new collection of general entertainment series, movies, documentaries and more that will double the content catalogue available to Disney+ subscribers.

Disney+ will be updated globally to offer enhanced parental controls enabling the family-friendly experience parents expect, including the ability to set limits on access to content for specific profiles based on content ratings. It will also include the ability to add a PIN to lock profiles with access to mature content.

In Europe, the service will be priced at €8.99 per month or €89.99 per year, with a similar pricing adjustment in the other Star launch markets, including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The streaming service will continue its global rollout, now with Star, in new markets beginning with Singapore next year, followed by Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea later in 2021.

In Latin America, to take advantage of the region’s portfolio of live sporting events, the company will launch Star+ as a standalone streaming service. Star+ brings together the Star content collection, local original productions, and an array of live sports from ESPN, including top soccer leagues, and grand slam tennis. Star+ will launch in June 2021 as a stand-alone service for around $7.50 per month (or the local equivalent), or as part of an attractively priced bundle with Disney+ for around $9.00 per month.

To learn more about the international offerings in these markets, view the 2020 Investor Day Star Fact Sheet.

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