Disney+ has entered the competitive streaming market as the “family-friendly” offering filled to the brim with iconic IPs from the Disney library. Purchasing 20th Century Fox helped them expand it, but the limitations were starting to show themselves. Netflix and Amazon don’t have that restriction and can reach a wider audience as a result. We’ve seen Disney start to break away from its initial focus with some of its Hulu offerings, Black-ish, Grown–ish, The Wonder Years, and the Korean original series Snowdrop, heading to its service. Yet, there’s a chance they might be considering adding the Star branding to their US market.
As noticed initially by What’s on DisneyPlus, the US home page featuring the bundle offerings of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ include a visual highlighting its offerings from the streaming service. Yet, what stands out is that the Star logo has also been included. There’s a chance that the service might be moving away from being split up into three but rather meld it into the Disney+ branding.
Of course, the oddity of the Star branding being included lies in the fact that Hulu mainly takes over that function in the US. It’s unclear if they might test the waters with its inclusion, especially with a lot of confusion with what shows are being offered to the US or Europe. Star was launched last year for European markets and some Hulu series, such as the upcoming The Kardashians series, getting Disney+ branding but only for the European markets. The image has been taken down since but it’s inclusion is still curious if it’s nothing more than just an odd mistake.
There have been hints that they are trying to include more products into their flagship streaming service, and it does open up the question of how far they might go with the new plans. Hulu now offers ways to directly access ESPN+ – another separate streaming service. They’ve also been testing live-streaming options which add to the possibility of Disney trying to diversify themselves from other streaming services more and more. We’ll have to wait but we might not find out until the next Investor’s Day presentation or even Disney+ day later this year.