New Delhi, Feb 5th (IndiaToday) – Disney+, the high-stakes streaming service from Disney, is set to arrive in India ahead of the IPL 2020 season. The company has announced it will add the Disney+ content to Hotstar, which is one of India’s most popular streaming service, also owned by Disney. Hotstar will bring the entire catalogue of Disney+ to India on March 29, including the content from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney, Pixar, National Geographic, and the hit franchise Star Wars. The upcoming series from the Marvel Studios – The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki, scheduled to be released later this year on Disney+, will also be available on Hotstar in India.
Bob Iger, chief executive of Disney, said the Disney+ will launch in India on the day the IPL tournament starts this year, which is March 29. He termed India as one of the “most populous countries and fastest-growing economies in the world” in his announcement delivered at the company’s earnings call on Tuesday. He also revealed that Disney+ now has 28.6 million subscribers, a milestone achievement for the company within three months. Disney+ takes on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ in global markets as media consumption via online streaming surges.
The Disney+ catalogue will be provided via the premium tier subscription, which will be rebranded from the current naming of ‘Hotstar Premium’ to ‘Disney+ Hotstar’. The other premium subscription, called the ‘Hotstar VIP’ will also be rebranded.
As of now, the pricing of the subscriptions for Disney+ on Hotstar has not been announced. Since Disney Plus Hotstar will be the one to feature the Disney+ content and Hotstar Original programming, we can expect a revision to the tune of Rs 999 per year, which is the current annual charge for the subscription. Hotstar VIP, on the other hand, costs Rs 365 yearly. The Hotstar app is also likely to undergo changes to make it similar to the global Disney+ app.
Hotstar’s surge as a streaming service
Hotstar, owned by Star India (a Walt Disney subsidiary) and developer by Novi Digital Entertainment, was launched in India in 2014. Within a couple of months, Hotstar peaked the streaming statistics in the world, thanks to concurrent streams for cricket live matches in India. In 2019, the streaming platform had over 100 million daily active users, in addition to 300 million monthly active users. It is also the country’s biggest streaming platform for most cricket formats.
Apart from the sports content, the app has a wide catalogue of daily shows from the channels owned by Star India, such as Star Plus, Star Jalsha, Star Vijay, National Geographic, and more. It also features channels from partners.