Recently, Disney+Hotstar announced that they have around 18 million paid subscribers which take its global subscribers count to 73.7 million. Christine McCarthy, the Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of the organization mentioned these numbers during an interview. She said that the platform has seen an increment of 16 million subscribers from July to September with IPL 2020 being the main reason. IPL was only available to people who took the VIP plan which is why they expect them to stay for the entire year.
How did the platform hit so many subscribers suddenly?
In April, the platform only had around 8 million paid users and now the users have more than doubled. The delay in the IPL season was the reason that led to these numbers and Hotstar has been taking advantage of its sports streaming section. In India, only Hotstar and Star Network stream the IPL tournament, and people in India are huge fans when it comes to cricket. Also, due to the pandemic, people who used to visit the stadiums to watch the match were not able to go. As a result, they helped in raising the number of subscribers. Not only sports but the platform has also started competing with streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime by releasing new movies and series. On 9th November 2020, ‘Laxmi‘ was released on Hotstar which broke the viewership record of ‘Dil Bechara‘, which was also a part of Hotstar.
The hand that rocks the bat, rules the world! Congratulations Mumbai Indians on winning the Dream11 IPL and Trailblazers on bringing home the #JioWorldT20Challenge trophy!#Dream11IPL #IPL2020 pic.twitter.com/lWlQxh45t3
— Disney+HotstarVIP (@DisneyplusHSVIP) November 11, 2020
On 11th February 2015, Hotstar was launched with the objective of streaming premium sports content. After the market grew because of the launch of Jio, the platform was dominating in many sectors along with providing international content such as ‘Game of Thrones’. In 2018, Disney wanted to enter the Indian market to provide its content, so instead of creating its independent platform, they planned on taking advantage of Hotstar’s user base and numbers. The Walt Disney Company then acquired it for $71 billion as last year they started rebranding themselves as Disney + Hotstar. Along with sports content, users can also have access to Disney originals. They have customized the platform for Indian users providing a high level of regional content as well.
What kinds of subscription plans are available on Disney+Hotstar?
The platform provides three categories of plans for its consumers. An annual subscription for its premium content for Rs 1,499 and a monthly subscription for Rs 299. They also have a cheaper version called Hotstar VIP. For VIP, they charge Rs 399 yearly but you won’t have access to the US content. Also, the Disney content will be available in its dubbed versions. VIP will also show advertisements in between your watch time but for Premium, it’s completely ad-free. It supports all the platforms and is available for streaming at 4k in some regions. However, one of its faults is that it tends to drop its resolution. As a result, it doesn’t give a really great experience to the users. Its library also consists of all the “Star Wars” and “Marvel” content, so if you are a fan this is the place to be.
Many contents are also available free without any fees which are mostly reality shows and some basic shows. Hotstar has gained the user’s trust and merging with Disney was one of their best strategies. Parents have also bought the subscription for their children to watch content as everyone was home all the time due to the pandemic. They are now planning to expand in other countries. On 5th September 2020, they started their operations in Indonesia. On 1st November 2020, they also started in Singapore. Consequently, now they are strategizing to get the major portion of the South Asian market. Netflix and Amazon Prime are its biggest competition and the platform‘s user bases are growing day by day.
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