Following on from my most recent STAR article; or, as I like to call it: Starticle; Disney has given me some more information about the service. I’m going to help demystify the service to you so that, when it launches, you’ll be ready and know what to expect!
STAR on Disney+ will bring a brand new and ever growing world of TV series, movies and originals to subscribers. In the UK, STAR will launch with over 75 series, 280 movies, 4 originals, and new titles launching every month.
STAR will appear on the Disney+ app/website as the sixth brand tile and, when you click/select it, you’ll get taken to a dedicated brand page that showcases content from all of Disney’s creative studios: 20th Television, ABC Signature, FX Productions, and 20th Century Studios. This is augmented by local programming - more on that later.
STAR will also contain very robust parental controls for users. When the app is first opened on Tuesday, 23 February 2021, the user will be asked to enter their account password in order to confirm that they are the account holder. They are asked if they would like to opt-in to the full catalogue of mature content, bumping the age rating up from 14+ to 18+. Users who don’t opt-in at this time will be able to later and will have their account restricted to 14+ content.
Once opted-in; the user can also set a pin to their profile to keep younger account users out.
The parental controls extend to other account users and each profile can have individual settings: 0+, 6+, 9+, 12+, 14+, 16+, and 18+.
Kids profiles do not have access to STAR and instead will see content rated for ages 7 and below that contains no content warnings.
STAR Originals are shows and movies that will debut exclusively on STAR. We know of 4 that will be available at launch: Love, Victor, Big Sky, Helstrom, and Solar Opposites. The first 2 episodes of each will debut on 23 February, with subsequent episodes releasing every Friday at 08:01 GMT.
3 more originals have been announced to debut in March: Dollface, Next, and Love in the Time of Corona.
There have been some more originals announced that are in development and set to debut this year: Y: The Last Man, The Old Man, American Horror Stories, Only Murders in the Building, Dopesick, and The Dropout.
STAR will also produce a slate of local originals. Whilst some continental European titles have been announced, Disney has not yet revealed what we can expect from the UK. In total, Disney plans to have 50 local European original series debut on STAR by 2024. Check out their press release here!
The Future of STAR
Disney have said that, within Year 1, they aim to have 1,000 unique titles on the STAR platform. This is in addition to 35 “first-run” series, i.e. STAR Originals. The UK is launching with about 360 titles, meaning they should debut an average of 12 titles per week, or 49 per month. With only 15 library titles confirmed for March, it’s likely that the next few months will see a drastic increase in the number of titles launched on STAR as licenses expire.
As for what this means for Disney’s distribution of its shows in the UK? Well, keep an eye out for my article on Disney+ Informer coming soon.
Until then, happy streaming!
Clue 8: I’m so complicated that half of me exists on BritBox!