Updated: Feb 20
The launch of Disney’s adult-oriented platform within Disney+, STAR, is a few days away. This post will have everything you need to know about the launch, from the availability and price, to the Day 1 content.
What is STAR?
STAR is the name for Disney’s general entertainment brand. It will feature content from all of Disney’s film and TV studios, such as Touchstone, 20th Century, Freeform and ABC Studios.
STAR vs STAR+ vs Hulu
STAR is the general entertainment section of Disney+ set to launch in many international markets on 23 Feb 2021 at 00:01 GMT. Star+ is that general entertainment section extrapolated into a separate app, augmented with live-sports; this will be available in June 2021. STAR and STAR+ will only contain Disney-owned content. Hulu is the general entertainment solution offered by Disney for the US only.
STAR will appear as the sixth brand tile on Disney+, next to National Geographic.
Library Content on STAR
The content on STAR will be more mature and uncensored in contrast to the Disney+ experience we have today. Different regions will have different launch titles but, like Disney+, the objective is to ensure that all regions will eventually have catalogues which closely resemble one another.
STAR is expected to launch with 450 titles in continental Europe. In the UK, it is expected to launch with 359 titles. Within its first year, Star will have over 1000 titles and 35 first-run series, i.e. STAR Originals.
To see the full list of Day 1 content for all STAR regions, visit What’s On Disney+ and tell them we sent you!
STAR Originals are first-run series by Disney's studios, i.e. they have not aired anywhere else apart from on Star in the region that they're an original. At launch, there will be 4 of these:
Big Sky (ABC)
Love, Victor (Hulu)
Solar Opposites (Hulu)
The 4 shows will debut on 23 February with 2 episodes each, and a third one on Friday 26 February at 08:01 GMT. Each original will air weekly on Fridays as has been done with Disney+ originals.
These originals will be supplemented with locally produced and distributed original programming to make up the 35 first-run series target. Local STAR Originals should not be presumed to be available in all STAR regions.
Hulu Originals should not be presumed to be available in all STAR regions. This is because some Hulu Originals are produced by non-Disney studios and licensed exclusively to Hulu in the US. Shows like The Handmaid's Tale, The Great and Into The Dark, as well as movies like Happiest Season, Palm Springs and Run will not be available on STAR.
STAR on Disney+ will be available in all current Disney+ markets on 23 February 2021 outside of the US and Latin America apart from:
Japan (where the Disney+ service has a limited launch)
India (where the Disney+ service is integrated already with Hotstar)
Indonesia (where the Disney+ service is integrated already with Hotstar)
This rollout of STAR includes sub-markets such as The Channel Islands and Isle of Man for the UK, and overseas departments of France such as Mayotte and Réunion.
Parental Controls and Accessing Star
When a user first opens the Disney+ app or webpage on 23 Feb, they'll be met with an option to change the maturity rating on their profile to 18+ by entering their password. This unlocks the full STAR catalogue. Each profile wishing to access the full STAR catalogue must manually enter their password one time to confirm they are over 18. The main profile on each account will be able to adjust the maturity ratings for each other profile.
If a subscriber chooses to keep their profile rating at 14+ or 16+, they will still have access to some STAR titles, just ones that are age-appropriate.
If a kids' profile is in use, they will not have access to the STAR catalogue at all.
Users are able to set 4-digit pins on their profiles regardless of age rating so long as it is not a kids' profile.
Does Star Cost Anything Extra?
Yes and no. The rollout of STAR coincides with the price increase for Disney+ so, while STAR itself will not cost extra, the cost of Disney+ as a whole will increase when STAR is available. The price of Disney+ for new subscribers from 23 February 2021 is as follows:
Canada: $11.99/month or $119.99/annual
Australia: $11.99/month or $119.99/annual
New Zealand: $12.99/month or $129.99/annual
UK: £7.99/month or £79.90/annual
Euro: 8.99/month or 89.90/annual
Norway: 89.00kr/month or 890.00kr/annual
Denmark: 79.00kr/month or 790.00kr/annual
Sweden: 89.00 kr/month or 890.00 kr/annual
Switzerland: CHF12.90/month or CHF129.00/annual
Singapore: $11.98/month or $119.98/annual
The price of Disney+ for existing subscribers will still be honoured until 22 August 2021, meaning if you got in early and bought a promotional year of the service back in February before launch, you will have to pay the annual cost as it is right now. If your subscription lapses after 23 February 2021 and you decide to resubscribe, you will have to pay the higher price.
It will not be possible to subscribe to a version of Disney+ without STAR.
Other STAR Details
I reached out to my contact at Disney who confirmed that STAR will have uncensored versions of content, i.e. no bleeps.