Hotstar, one of India’s premier streaming services, is set to launch its on-demand streaming service, Disney+, in India on March 29.
Disney chief executive Bob Iger said that the entertainment conglomerate will launch the service in one of the world’s largest entertainment markets right at the beginning of the next IPL cricket tournament, the most sought-after event on Hotstar all year. Furthermore, he added that Disney+ has gathered 26.5 million paying subscribers worldwide.
Previously, the company was planning to launch its streaming service in India right after Southeast Asia – by the second half of the year. Now, the streaming service will launch in India right after it arrives in Europe a week before. At its peak, Hotstar reported more than 100 million daily active users and 300 million monthly active users last year. Hotstar Premium has two subscription options – Rs 299 per month and Rs 999 per year.
Iger, however, has not shared any specifics about how much the company would charge for Disney+ featuring Hotstar, but he said that it will bring two primary products into India. He mentioned that one of them will be more premium in nature and will include the entire library of original programs while the other one will be more basic that will have the library but not the original content. It will also be launched at a very peak period – during the IPL Cricket League.
Hotstar competes with many video streaming services in India, including its global rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. For the past few years, all of these services have created original series and movies for the Indian market. Hotstar has created a very notable service for India – the remake of ‘The Office’. On the one hand, Netflix’s monthly subscription starts with the Mobile plan (Rs 199), Basic (Rs 499), Standard (Rs 649) and Premium (Rs 799) – all monthly. Prime, on the other hand, has two plans – Rs 129 per month or Rs 999 per year.
Iger has further mentioned that the company is set to rebrand the premium tier of Hotstar to Disney Plus Hotstar.