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Disney a hot star in India, now preparing Indonesian launch

Disney-owned video streaming Disney+ Hotstar, which debuted in April this year, has announced that it has added 6,250,000 new subscribers in India to the streaming service from April to July this year.

At the end of June, Disney+ Hotstar said that it had 8.63 million subscribers in the country – including subscribers from the Hotstar platform – accounting for 15% of its global audience of 57.3 million subscribers.

Disney+ Hotstar is a collaboration between Disney and Star India’s Hotstar streaming service. Disney acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019 in a US$71-billion acquisition, bringing Star India – owners of Hotstar – into the Walt Disney fold.

Disney+ Hotstar operates on a freemium model where content is offered free on an ad-supported model, unlike Disney+ which only offers paid subscriptions.

Competition in the India OTT space is stiff with numerous players already in the market including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Essel Group’s Zee5, Times Internet’s MC Player, Viacom18’s Voot and Reliance-backed ALT Balaji.

The media conglomerate is also planning to launch an international direct-to-consumer entertainment offering in 2021. The service will include content from 20th Century Studios, ABC Studios, Fox Television, FX, Freeform and Searchlight.

As part of its continuing global expansion, Disney’s Chief Executive, Bob Chapek, said that Disney+ Hotstar is slated to go live in Indonesia on September 5, in collaboration with Indonesian telecom operator Telkonsel.

“By year-end, Disney+ will be available in nine of the top 10 economies in the world,” said Chapek, who added that to date Disney+ has surpassed 60.5 million paid subscribers across the world.

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