Disney+ to launch in India through Hotstar in end May 2020

Disney+ will be arriving in India in May 2020, post the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament, which is scheduled to end on 12 May. According to a new report on TechCrunch on two sources “familiar with the company’s plan”, Disney+ will be available through Hotstar itself. There will be no separate app for Disney+ as the whole catalogue will be available on the app. This news comes after the historic merger of Disney and 20th Twenty Fox which owned the Star group.  Hotstar is the biggest streaming player in the Indian video streaming market, with over 300 million subscribers. So, it only makes sense for Disney to integrate its streaming catalogue within it. This clearly can be a strategy to take on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, and moreover after Netflix India’s FY 19 revenue jumped to 700 per cent due to regional reach through its content. Hotstar offers an extensive and exclusive range of cricket and Indian Premier League coverage. As a result, the streaming service made a record when 25 million concurrent viewers streamed the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2019, earlier this year. That’s how vital cricket is for Hotstar, but according to analytics, the service saw a monthly decline in subscribers to the count of 60 million after the IPL tournament which in a way triggers a Disney Plus revamp to Hotstar. As per a couple of anonymous sources in the report by TechCrunch, Hotstar plans to increase the subscription fees of its service in India, probably towards the end of Q1 2020 before IPL begins. Hotstar’s library consists of exclusive cricket coverage, Hotstar Specials, Indian movies, international films & TV shows, Indian broadcast channels and titles from 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Showtime, HBO and ABC studios.  Few reports also suggest that after the launch of Disney+ in India, Hotstar could launch in Southeast Asian countries, starting with Indonesia and Malaysia. It’s currently available in the US, Canada, and the UK, apart from India. Meanwhile, Disney+ got 10 million subscribers within 24 hours of launch, which is remarkable, given that it’s only available in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands currently. The service launched with a vast catalogue of Disney titles, Pixar animated films, Star Wars Saga, and Marvel films.