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Disney Investor Day: Kardashian-Jenner content deal, Disney+ unscripted slate

The Walt Disney Company has announced the slate of unscripted content rolling out on its direct-to-consumer services over the coming months as Disney+ reaches 86.6 million global subscribers just over ...
December 14, 2020

The Walt Disney Company has announced the slate of unscripted content rolling out on its direct-to-consumer services over the coming months as Disney+ reaches 86.6 million global subscribers just over a year after its launch.

At its 2020 virtual Investor Day presentation, held Dec. 10, the company also offered a first look at Star, its new international general entertainment content brand.

As of Dec. 2, Disney’s portfolio of DTC services reached 137 million global paid subscriptions, including 11.5 million ESPN+ subscribers and 38.8 million Hulu subscribers.

The company now expects its streaming services to hit 300 to 350 million total subscriptions by 2024. Disney attributed that figure to a “significant increase” in content output, with Disney+ alone targeting to release more than 100 titles per year.

National Geographic’s Disney+ slate includes Welcome to Earth (w/t) featuring Will Smith and the previously announced Limitless With Chris Hemsworth.

The studio also announced the new documentary film Cousteau, which will debut in theatres before coming to Disney+, as well as docuseries Secrets of the Whales, A Real Bug’s Life and America The Beautiful.

Elsewhere, the Kardashian-Jenners will create global content under a new multi-year deal, to stream exclusively on Hulu in the U.S. and internationally on Star, with an expected debut in 2021.

Star will be included as part of Disney+ in select international markets, and launch as a separate streaming service in Latin America as Star+.

The brand will be home to thousands of hours of TV and movies from Disney’s creative studios, including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, 20th Television and others, in addition to local programming.

Star will launch in Europe and several other international markets Feb. 23, 2021 with its own branded tile and a new collection of renowned general entertainment series, movies, documentaries and other content.

Star+ will include local original programming and rolls out in Latin America June 2021.

“The tremendous success we’ve achieved across our unique portfolio of streaming services, with more than 137 million subscriptions worldwide, has bolstered our confidence in our acceleration toward a DTC-first business model,” Bob Chapek (pictured), CEO of the Walt Disney Company, said in a statement. “With our amazing creative teams and our ever-growing collection of the high-quality branded entertainment that consumers want, we believe we are incredibly well positioned to achieve our long-term goals.”

The company most recently saw the departure of Geoff Daniels, EVP of unscripted programming at National Geographic and a veteran executive with the Disney-owned network, as part of a round of layoffs enacted Dec. 3 within Disney’s General Entertainment Content and Walt Disney TV units. Earlier this month, Disney+ VP of non-fiction originals Dan Silver also exited the company, joining Netflix as director of documentary feature films.

On Dec. 1, Dana Walden, chairman of entertainment for Walt Disney TV, announced a streamlining of the division’s programming and production operations with a restructuring that saw Hulu original content chief Craig Erwich also take on the role of president for ABC Entertainment.

With files from Barry Walsh

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