Disney+ is going strong in the OTT business, as it has announced to have over 50 million subscribers of which Disney+Hotstar has nearly eight million.
This news comes after Disney+ launched in conjunction with Hotstar on 3 April in the country, which is just six days! Five-year-old Hotstar is the most popular on-demand streaming service in India with more than 300 million users. The service and its operator, Indian network Star India, were taken up by Disney as part of its $71 billion deal with Fox last year.
Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International chairman Kevin Mayer s aid,“We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year,”
For years, people in the Indian industry have been curious about Hotstar’s premium subscriber base, only to find no luck there. Estimates had suggested it had about 1.5 million to 2 million subscribers.
Disney+Hotstar is available in India at a yearly subscription cost of almost $20 (Rs. 1499). And for that, subscribers get access to a wide-ranging catalogue of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Disney Originals in English as well as several local languages, live sporting events, dozens of TV channels, and thousands of movies and shows, including some sourced from HBO, Showtime, ABC and Fox that maintain syndication partnerships with the Indian streaming service.
Disney+Hotstar competes with more than three dozen international and local players in India, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Times Internet’s MX Player (which has over 175 million monthly active users), Zee5, Apple TV+ and ALTBalaji, (which has over 27 million subscribers). According to industry estimates, Amazon Prime Video has fewer than five million subscribers and Netflix has fewer than two million.
Most of these services monetise their viewers through ads, and have kept their monthly subscription price below $3. The countrywide lockdown has turned out to be a blessing in disguise as more viewers are consuming online video content and signing up to more services to kill boredom. In India, the time spent on smartphones, the primary device to consume OTT content, has also gone up according to the BARC report.