During an interview with Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Diego Lerner, President at The Walt Disney Company Latin America, gave details about Star +, Disney’s new SVOD OTT aimed at adult audiences in the region, whose official launch in Latin America is taking place today.
Star+ is the new The Walt Disney Company’s sports and general entertainment SVOD OTT, offered in bundle with Disney + and as a standalone platform in the region. The OTT is the home of general entertainment movies and TV series from The Walt Disney Company’s content studios, including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, Star Original Productions, National Geographic Original Productions and other content. The OTT will also include live sports from ESPN, and will allow its subscribers access to content related to the Copa Libertadores, the UEFA Champions League, LaLiga (Spain); the Premier League; Italian A Series, and even other disciplines, such as tennis and NBA; in addition to shows produced by ESPN in the region, and others. The platform’s catalog will also include all seasons of The Simpsons, as well as adult dramas, comedies and thrillers. Star+ also features exclusive original programming from the general entertainment brand Star, together with a selection of regional original productions from Latin America.
‘We are very excited. This new launch completes Disney’s pan-regional streaming strategy initiative. Disney+ and Star+ are two standalone things, although they can be unified at a price according to what users want and can have both at very convenient values. We are very happy because Star+ gives us the possibility of reaching a more adult audience that has been on Fox, a very successful adult entertainment channel with content as important as ‘This is Us’, ‘Walking Dead’, ‘Prison Break’ , like what is The Simpsons, the backbone of Fox. Apart from that, we have a catalog of relevant sports content, all ESPN. Our initiative is for children, family, youth, also Marvel, Luca, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney, National Geographic and Star+. We are very happy’, reported Lerner in relation to the Star+ catalog.
Regarding the offer announced days ago by Disney, when the company confirmed that Star+ will be offered in Latin America both as a standalone OTT and also in bundle with Disney +, Lerner reported that ‘they are both standalone platforms. That is why this offer is unique in Latin America. It is the only place in the world where it is available. The Disney + identity will be what it always was. Nothing changes. It is a very defined consumer. And, on the other hand, Star+, which is aimed at a more adult audience, local productions from all over the region and Argentina and, in addition, ESPN. That is why it deserves its identity. That does not mean that people cannot have both, and for that, there is a suitable commercial and technological offer. Because those who have Disney + are not going to have to log in again with the separate identity and start. They will be within an ecosystem’.
Lerner also gave his vision of the impact of Disney+ and Star+ on streaming war: ‘We are very happy with Disney+. We entered a world of high competition with very important companies that were pioneers. Netflix created the streaming market and, thanks to them, superlative value has been created in the industry in which we are participating today. That generated a very valuable digital habit consumption. It is very simple. Extremely rigorous. It is a click in and a click out. The content has to be so relevant that it has to be convincing every month. If you do not click out, that situation creates the opportunity to access other content. The Disney+ case made us very happy, it far exceeded our expectations. We do not imagine that dimension. That’s why we accelerate the Star + plans. Because we saw that we are creating a perfect complement for Disney + with a consumer attitude that was what we were looking for’.
‘The Star+ business plan is simple. It is about presenting yourself in the community as a different initiative, with content that is not on Disney+. But that complements it. And it complements it at the price level with an integrated offer. And it complements it on a content level with a different demographic segment. And from there, expand it to the entire region with accessibility, being economically accessible. This is important. The Disney+ price is extremely low. And that is why it was so successful. Between AR $ 300 and AR $ 400 are paid (between USD 3 and USD 4 per month) and subscribers can access a huge catalog, a very rich mosaic, of great quality, of high production, of high marketing, of high relevance’, said the executive. ‘The same we are going to go on the side of Star+. It will be more expensive because it gathers various contents. It is not just Disney, but it has ESPN. In Argentina, Star+ will cost AR $ 880 (USD 9). Actually, they are valued at AR$ 8,800 (USD 90) per year, because whoever pays the annual subscription will have a two-month discount. That is important. But, those who choose to pay the ‘Combo+’ subscription, will pay AR$ 995 (USD 10). For less than AR$ 1000 it is possible to access Disney+ and Star+. This is very important. AR $ 1,000 is a lot of money. But there is little linking it to the relevance of the three contents. Disney+, with Marvel, with Star Wars, with Pixar, with National Geographic. Star , with what is ESPN, Fox, all series and all local productions. It is important. Price is always relevant as long as content and experience dominate. No matter how much an offer is launched at a low price or aggressive marketing, if you do not dominate the content or the product or experience initiative, it will not be possible for the customer to be in constant ‘clicking’, he added.
In addition, although Lerner did not report official figures on the matter, he reported that the most important investment faced by Disney with the arrival of Star+ in Latin America is focused on local productions throughout the region. This way, the executive explained that ‘the backbone in the entire region is Argentina, together with Brazil and Mexico, where we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars annually in local productions. All types. For both Disney+ and Star+. For series, for dramatic series. For documentaries for National Geographic. For unscripted content’. In addition, Lerner expressed that ‘there is an irreversible trend of a highly sophisticated consumer in our region, who wants to access their own content, which represents them. And also that they represent local problems. We, as Disney, have a strong commitment to values. Those values have to do with gender diversity and its defense, with everything related with equity, non-discrimination. And I think these issues are interesting to the region and we see them reflected in our stories’, he reported.