Disney Plus set to launch in India as Disney Plus Hotstar
Disney Plus, the company’s streaming service that launched in November last year, is officially coming to India on March 29, the same day as the start of the 2020 IPL season.
Disney CEO Robert Iger endorsed this in the first quarter, 05 February 2020 earnings call.
Iger said in his statement, “We’re excited to announce that we will be launching Disney+ in India through our Hotstar service on March 29th 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. 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.”
It will be made possible through Hotstar, which Disney owns through its purchase of Fox — with both Hotstar VIP and Hotstar Premium being rebranded to ‘Disney Plus Hotstar.’
Hotstar, which is the leading OTT platform in India, already shows Marvel movies and content, which is exclusive to Disney.
Hotstar clashes with dozens of video streaming services in India, including Netflix and Prime Video. In recent years, all of these streaming services have made original web series and movies for the Indian market. The most famous original series on Hotstar is the remake of “The Office.”
Currently, Hotstar Premium costs ₹ 999 per year or ₹ 299 per month. There’s also a Hotstar VIP service for ₹ 365 per year, which has live sports, including cricket, Formula 1, and Premier League, along with access to episodes of Indian TV series, movies, Hotstar specials, and Avengers: Endgame in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.
The subscription pack has not been revealed as yet. However, the two layers will continue their existing plan: the new Hotstar Premium will include Disney’s back catalog and Disney Plus originals.
In contrast, the new Hotstar VIP won’t have access to the Disney Plus originals series and movies.
Disney Plus will also launch in other international markets in March. On March 24, the streaming service goes live in the UK, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Austria. Currently, Disney Plus is live in markets like Canada, the US, and the Netherlands. The service costs $6.99 per month in the US. This reaches to Rs 497 per month approximately.