“We see this as a great opportunity to use the proven platform of Hotstar to launch the new Disney+ service in one of the most populous countries and fastest growing economies in the world.” — Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
Disney+ is off to India! The streaming service just announced that it will make an early debut on the subcontinent, launching on March 29, 2020.
According to techcrunch.com, Disney+ will be hosted through Hotstar. One of the lesser-known companies now under the Disney corporate umbrella, Hotstar is an Indian streaming service that recorded over 100 million daily users and over 300 million monthly users in 2019.
Cricket Caused the Early Launch
The Walt Disney Company was originally scheduled to launch its streaming service in India by the latter half of this year. The early launch was announced by Disney CEO Bob Iger during his earnings call, explaining that they wanted to take advantage of the upcoming IPL Cricket Tournament to promote the launch. The IPL tournament is Hotstar’s most significant event of the year.
Iger explained that Hotstar will host two different tiers of Disney+, the complete Disney+ with the full library and original programming, and another that will still offer the iconic library of Disney-owned films but will exclude the original content.
“One will be more premium in nature that will include the entire library of original programming and the other one will be more basic that will have the library and not the original programming priced for the market and launched at a very peak period of time for the IPL, the Cricket League.
So we think it’s an opportune moment, we take advantage of the presence of Star in the market and the millions of subscribers that they also have, we take advantage of the sports tie-in and we use the interface and the technology that includes the billing that already exists to launch a service we believe under very, very optimal circumstances.
We see this as a great opportunity to use the proven platform of Hotstar to launch the new Disney+ service in one of the most populous countries and fastest growing economies in the world.”
The new premium Disney+ will be renamed “Disney Plus Hotstar.”
Hotstar is a wildly popular streaming service based in India. With premium subscriptions offered for ~$14 a year, it includes a plethora of ABC, HBO and Showtime movies and TV shows. It is owned by Star India, a company that was under the 20th Century Fox corporate umbrella. Disney gained acquisition of Hotstar through its merger with 20th Century Fox, which is now called “20th Century Studios.”
What do you think about India getting Disney+ earlier than other countries that are patiently waiting in Europe and Latin America? Let us know in the comments!