Disney+ to make its Indian debut on March 29 - as a premium offering on Hotstar

  • Disney+ streaming service will be launched in India on March 29.
  • Disney+ Hotstar will replace the existing Hotstar Premium tier.
  • The company has not revealed the pricing of its new service yet.
Digital streaming platform Hotstar is having a fairy tale run in the Indian market. Now, it will get another boost with the launch of Disney+.

The Walt Disney Company’s streaming platform will coincide with the same day that the 2020 IPL season kicks off - on March 29. It means the launch with get enough eyeballs as the cricket-loving nation remains glued to the OTT platform, that has rights to live stream it.

Hotstar is already the top streaming platform in the country with 300 million monthly users. The OTT platform was also launched in February 2015, just before the ICC World Cup 2015. It is owned by Star India, which in turn is owned by The Walt Disney Company.


Disney+ Hotstar premium tier

In an earnings call with analysts, Disney chief executive Bob Iger revealed that it will launch the Disney+ service in India. “We’re also excited to announce that we will be launching Disney Plus in India through our Hotstar service on March 29, at the beginning of the Indian Premier League Cricket season. We will be rebranding our existing Hotstar VIP and Premium subscription tiers to Disney Plus Hotstar,” said Iger during the earnings call.

The company has not revealed any information about the pricing of the service yet. At present, Hotstar Premium is priced at ₹999 per year but its plans start from ₹365 for the VIP plan which does not include English content.

Disney+ was launched on November 12 and gained 10 million subscribers on its very first day. In its earnings call, the company revealed that it has 26.5 million subscribers at present.

Hotstar which has over 100 million daily active users also shows and movies from HBO, ABC and Showtime. This is in addition to the many Indian TV shows across Star bouquet and also a rising number of web series originals. It also live streams most of its channels on the website. In addition to its Premium and VIP tiers, it also has an ad-supported free tier bringing in many click-ins.

While Iger did not reveal how the pricing will be structured, he revealed that the company will be launching two products in the country. “One will be more premium in nature that will include the entire library, so with the original programming and the other one will be more basic that will have the library and not the original programming,” Iger added.

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