16 December 2019
Disney, the multinational mass media company has reportedly planned to launch its latest Disney Plus streaming service in India. But the service would rather arrive as a catalog with Hotstar, a popular video streaming service it already owns.
Techcrunch cites the sources familiar with the company’s plans and reports that the new catalog should go live after the end of next year’s IPL cricket tournament in May. And, soon afterward, the company will expand the Disney Plus service as a catalog to more Southeast Asian countries, starting with Indonesia and Malaysia.
The speculation on Disney’s original content coming on Hotstar has, however, later somewhat confirmed by Hotstar itself in a reply to a user on Twitter.
Hi! We are working on bringing Disney+ to India. The launch date is yet to be announced; stay tuned. Thank you!— Hotstar (@hotstar_helps) November 13, 2019
Hotstar which is an Indian over-the-top streaming service is the leading player when it comes to offering local content. Alongside its large library of local shows and movies, Hotstar also offers international content from HBO, ABC, and Showtime.
This year in May, the streaming service set a new global record for live viewership, thanks to the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. Hotstar competes with Netflix and Amazon in India but during IPL it broke its own record.
It is reported that the userbase of Hotstar in India plummets after the IPL and this is one of the reasons that Disney is bringing its original content to Hotstar to help the service sustain users even after cricket sessions.
The report on Disney routing its original content to Indian audiences through Hotstar is not new as a similar report came in April stated the same possibility by citing the people familiar with the matter. It came to notice when the November 2019 launch of the platform in the US was disclosed.
It was also reported that Hotstar will localize the Disney Plus movies and shows by dubbing or by adding subtitles in Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.
The price of the subscription of the service in India is unknown but according to a report from BGR India, the service could cost Rs. 590 per month. It could also be possible that the subscription would come bundled into the existing cost.