Cristiano Lima (content) and Carlos Maluf (sports) talk about the latest streaming from The Walt Disney Company, which arrives in Brazil on August 31st.
Star+, a complementary service to Disney+, arrives in Brazil this Tuesday (31). The streaming catalog created by The Walt Disney Company is centered on Latin productions and content for adult audiences, such as Deadpool and The Simpsons, in addition to aggregating collections from ESPN, Fox Sports, 20th Century Studios, FX and National Geographic.
With new original productions in development, Star+ also brings seasons of world-acclaimed series such as The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, This Is Us, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, Prison Break, 24 Hours, Homeland , X-Files, among others.
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Recently, the I love cinema spoke with Cristiano Lima and Carlos Maluf, heads of content and sports, respectively, on Star+. During the interview, they revealed details about Disney’s new service, explained the relationship between price and quality of the catalog and pointed out what makes streaming different from the various offers currently available in the Brazilian market. Check it out in full:
To start our conversation, I would like to know what was the biggest challenge to launch Star+ in Brazil?
Carlos Maluf: “On the sports side, it was the renegotiation of all sports rights contracts to include the direct-to-consumer sports platform on Star+. All the rights we had, we had to renegotiate or include those that came later.”
Cristiano Lima: “The challenge was to understand the new acquisitions and productions and, mainly, work on a new offer that made sense to have another brand of The Walt Disney Company in the market. We thought about how we would make a differentiated and powerful offer so that we can compete on equal terms here in Brazil.”
Regarding the way in which the productions will be presented to the user, how will the content in the catalog be organized?
Cristiano Lima: “It’s a very powerful app from a technology point of view, the experience is modern, intuitive and there’s a lot of intelligence behind the entire Star+ team, both entertainment and sports — we’re not talking about one or the other, but from the combination of these products. So, obviously, it will be highlighted in the sports events that are happening, the series that we are launching at that moment and the architecture was designed to be intuitive, so that the user experience is very good and positive.”
What is the standout point of Star+ and its contents compared to competitors?
Cristiano Lima: “Without a doubt, the sport is the great differential and the most notorious within this offer. When you look at The Walt Disney Company, the offer isn’t just Star+, it’s the combo. So we have a combination of the contents that you already know, which is Disney+, with the Fox collection, FX Production, 20th, third-party studios like Sony, NBCU… The offer in general is the protagonist. From a product point of view, right off the bat, it’s Selena’s (Gomez) series, “Only Murders in the Building”, premiering simultaneously in the United States, and Y: The Last Man”. It has a mixture of a lot of news and the return of well-known series such as This Is Us and Simpsons.”
Carlos Maluf: “By weekend, more than 70 football matches will be shown live. Seventy games don’t happen at the same time, but you’ll be able to zap all these signals at the same time. What we are going to do is [similar] to one olympics a day. This is our differential. No other streaming service will have what we have.”
I realized that there are a lot of Latin productions in progress and I believe that this can bring some local identification and plots that better reflect our reality. What is your point of view on the importance of these contents?
Cristiano Lima: “What we’ve been learning is that content no longer has borders. So, many times, I find myself watching a series from Germany, France or Argentina and I have fun in the same way. There is a democratization of content, we have a large volume and high quality, but Brazil is the focus of original production. Star+ debuts with Impuros (3rd season), a series that we are very proud of, and which has a lot of data, and insanity, which opens in October. The volume of series here in Brazil will be very large, although we understand that all the content, especially Latin American, is very important in general.”
Do you believe that there is any resistance from the Brazilian public in relation to content produced in and for Brazil?
Cristiano Lima: “This is historic. But lately, I’ve come to understand that series and movies compete on an equal footing, despite the incomparable volume. So I don’t think so. The Brazilian industry, our creatives, directors, the entire artistic community is really at a wonderful level and delivering very high quality content.”
What do you intend to achieve with Star+ that, perhaps, Disney+ has not yet accomplished in the Brazilian streaming market?
Carlos Maluf: “Disney+’s target audience is up to 14 years old, so the idea of Star+’s arrival in this combo is to reach an adult and sports-loving audience. So, if you sign this combo, you’ll be adding to the whole family.”
Cristiano Lima: “The goal now is to combine. This combined offer caters to the whole family and together we will walk. We do not have a separate goal to achieve what Disney+ has not achieved, we are thinking that The Walt Disney Company is launching another product and, from a content and commercial point of view, it is a very good and competitive proposition.”
With the growing amount of streaming available in Brazil, what would you say to convince a friend to also subscribe to Star+ — or replace some platform with it?
Cristiano Lima: “If you subscribe to Star+, you can have over 70 live football matches. Star+ will have a learning curve but people will understand that the Walt Disney Company’s offering is complete and of the highest quality. We are focused on the user experience and this combination of factors will make them feel comfortable. It’s not about price, it’s about value, and we know the value of our content.”