Lionsgate’s streaming service Starzplay has officially been renamed Lionsgate Plus (stylized as Lionsgate+) in 35 global territories.
The platform will retain its existing Starz title in the US and Canada – and will remain Starzplay Arabia and Lionsgate Play in Arab countries and Southeast Asia, respectively – although these versions will also benefit from new design elements and an updated graphics package.
Despite rumors suggesting Lionsgate is looking to sell stakes in Starz, the company says the move to rename Starzplay internationally comes in an attempt to help differentiate the service in a crowded streaming market.
Welcome to LIONSGATE+ 😏 #LionsgatePlus pic.twitter.com/M1CL39hkSuSeptember 28, 2022
“Operating internationally under Lionsgate Plus brings a distinct and differentiated identity in an increasingly crowded international market and builds on the brand equity in the Lionsgate name that our extensive research has proven to be strong around the world,” Jeffrey Hirsch, President and CEO from Starz , said in a statement.
“Even with the separation of Starz and the studio business from Lionsgate, the Lionsgate brand will continue to be valuable to the continued success of our international platform.”
Following the rebrand, Lionsgate Plus joins several other major streaming services now with the ‘Plus’ affix: Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus to name the three biggest.
Evidently, Lionsgate believes its mission to bring “a distinct and distinctive identity” to its streaming service is best served by the Lionsgate Plus name as opposed to Starzplay, although some consumers have expressed confusion over the change:
Me: “Starzplay”. What a horrible name for a streaming service, “Starzplay”. They really couldn’t come up with a worse name than that. Starzplay: pic.twitter.com/YcZ99q0zbXSeptember 28, 2022
Granted, Starzplay wasn’t a big name to begin with – but while Lionsgate Plus is certainly a more uniform title (by virtue of its competition), it’s not exactly “distinguished and distinguished” in 2022.
The rebrand also risks leaving those in the know thinking that Lionsgate Plus is an entirely separate entity from Starz – despite the two platforms sharing the same list of content (which includes shows like Outlander, Power and Gaslit).
Lionsgate isn’t the only studio to fall into the ‘Plus’ trap, mind you. Epix, the premium cable network owned by MGM, was recently renamed to MGM Plus (stylized as MGM+) following Amazon’s high-profile acquisition of the James Bond production company in 2021.
For more on the latest streaming-related news, check out our report on Netflix’s bold new plan to get you involved with its video games and our deep dive into the production issues impacting Marvel’s upcoming Blade movie.