In April last year, Disney launched its very own streaming platform. Back then it was only available in a few countries like USA, Canada, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. However, with this move, all Disney titles, Marvel films, National Geographic content and Pixar productions were removed from services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. In India, all Walt Disney productions were moved to Hotstar until the platform made its way to the country. On Tuesday, February 4, 2019, the entertainment giant announced that Disney+ will be in India within two months.
When is Disney+ launching in India?
Disney CEO Bob Iger said that Hotstar VIP and Hotstar Premium will be rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar in India and will be launched on March 29, 2020. This date coincides with the same day as the start of the 2020 IPL season, which will also stream on Hotstar. Wondering why Disney is moving to Hotstar? Well, Disney owns Hotstar through its acquisition of Fox. In his announcement, Iger said, “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.”
How much will a subscription to Disney+ Hotstar cost?
Unfortunately, there has been no word about the specific price of how much a new subscription to Disney+ Hotstar will cost. Iger said that two primary products will be brought to India. One of them is set to be more premium in nature, which will give users access to the entire library on the platform as well as original programming. The other will be a more basic subscription where users will have access to the entire library but not to original programs. He also said that since it will be launched at the very peak time (because of the IPL), the subscriptions will be priced optimally for the market.
What will be on Disney+ Hotstar?
Disney is among the biggest production houses in the world. They own properties like Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Nat Geo and Disney-brand properties. All the films from these titles will be available on the platform. Moreover, since it also has the right to stream a ton of 20th Century Fox shows, The Simpsons will also be streaming on it soon. Disney also plans of making some of its original content just for the platform. Currently, a new live-action Star Wars and Marvel TV series is in the pipeline.
Currently, Disney+ has 26.5 million paid subscribers since its launch last year. Hotstar, on the other hand, is currently at its peak with 100 million daily active users and 300 million monthly active users. With these two coming together, it seems like Hotstar will pose a huge threat to its competitors. Besides India, Disney+ will launch in countries like the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Austria on March 24, 2020.