Disney+ is now live in India via Hotstar
Christmas came early! Disney+ is now live in India, several weeks before its scheduled launch date. The media giant made its entry in India through the Hotstar app, which got the much-anticipated update in its catalog and logo on Wednesday morning. Unlike other markets, the streaming service arrived in India via an existing service as part of a deal struck last year.
Disney+ debuted in the US in November last year
Disney+ debuted in the US in November last year, and received a tremendous response, as it reportedly garnered 10 million subscribers right on the launch day. The streaming service then rolled out in other markets, i.e., Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Canada. Disney+ arrived in India via Hotstar, a Star subsidiary, after Disney's dream deal to acquire Fox's entertainment assets closed last year.
Disney looking to profit off Hotstar's popularity
Through its India launch, Disney looks to profit off the popularity of Hotstar, one of the leading players in India's competitive OTT market. In fact, at its peak, Hotstar reportedly drew a mammoth 300 million monthly active users.
Disney original titles now streaming on Hotstar
Now, in addition to over 4,000 titles that Hotstar previously offered, the rebranded Disney+ Hotstar app has added over a dozen original titles from Disney. These include Encore, Diary of a Future President, High School Musical, The Mandalorian, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Disney Family Sundays, Hero Project, One Day at Disney, Togo, Lady and the Tramp, and others.
And, what about the pricing?
For now, the Disney+ content is available for existing Hotstar premium subscribers at no extra cost. For the unversed, the Hotstar Premium subscription comes at Rs. 999 per annum and Rs. 299 per month.
Disney+ was earlier set for India launch on March 29
"We're bringing the world's best stories from the best storytellers at Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. 200+ movies, 100+ shows and 30+ originals," reads Disney+ Hotstar's official description. Notably, Disney's former CEO Bog Iger said last month that the company would expand Hotstar to Southeast Asia to launch Disney+ in the region. Disney+ was earlier slated to launch in India on March 29.
However, its India launch comes with a controversy
However, the India launch of Disney+ clashes with a major controversy. Recently, Disney and Hotstar were criticized for pulling down an episode of comedian/satirist John Oliver's show Last Week Tonight, that was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his latest episode, Oliver slammed Hotstar, and also claimed that the streaming service previously edited several of his jokes that were related to Disney.