Disney+ expanding overseas via Star, raising prices next year

Disney's Investors Day definitely dumped a lot of information over the Internet you'd be forgiven if you feel a bit overloaded. Especially if you follow and subscribe to the company's numerous properties and content distribution services like Disney+, Hulu, and even ESPN+. Not everyone, however, might enjoy hearing all about these new films and shows since these services aren't widely available outside the US. Disney, however, will be fixing that with some good news for overseas fans while also bringing a small bad one for Disney+ subscribers.

As if its selection wasn't confusing enough, Disney is launching Star as a sort of Disney+ for international markets. It won't be the same Disney+ though and is actually just a part of Disney+, with its own branded tile, offering a smaller selection of content from the likes of Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Television, to name a few. Star will be launching first in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Singapore on February 23, 2021 for €8.99 per month or €89.99 per year before expanding to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea later in 2021.

Latin America, however, will get an even more special version with Star+, which is actually a standalone service that focuses more on live sporting events. On top of Star content, Star+ will add local original productions and ESPN live content, all for $7.50 a month starting June 2021. Disney+ subscribers can get Star+ bundled for $9.00 per month.

If those figures for 2021 look a little bit high, that's because Disney is raising prices quite a bit. For the first time since it launched last year, Disney+ will charge subscribers $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year starting March 26, 2021. Fortunately, it's not that big a hike but it could still disappoint long-time subscribers.

The price change seems almost ironic considering Disney boasted extremely positive numbers for its direct-to-consumer services. That said, the entertainment titan is indeed investing in a lot more content and spreading to more markets and it hopes that will be more than enough to make up for the slightly higher fee.