- Disney+ had 116 million paid subscribers globally last quarter, which means Hotstar would have around 46 million subscribers
- New users joined the platform from Malaysia and Thailand where Hotstar launched its service last quarter, besides existing markets of India and Indonesia
NEW DELHI: Disney+, the video streaming service owned by the Walt Disney Co., said Hotstar comprised nearly 40% of its overall subscriber base as of June-end. The video streaming platform Hotstar was rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar in 2020 following the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney in 2017. Currently, the Disney+ Hotstar brand is specific to four markets—India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Elsewhere, the service operates under the Disney+ banner.
Disney+ had 116 million paid subscribers globally last quarter, which means Hotstar would have around 46 million subscribers. New users joined the platform from Malaysia and Thailand where Hotstar launched its service last quarter, besides existing markets of India and Indonesia.
In May, Disney+ had reported 104 million users with around 34 million coming from Hotstar. “When you think about Disney+ Hotstar, IPL (Indian Premiere League) is certainly a very important component of the offerings, but we also have a very broad portfolio of general entertainment (shows and movies) as well as other sports. It has a lot of original as well as library content from all of the Disney+ brands and IPs. And we have added over 18,000 of original local programming every year,” Christine McCarthy, senior executive vice-president and chief financial officer at Disney, said during an earnings call on Friday.
To be sure, the monthly average revenue per paid subscriber of Disney+ Hotstar is significantly lower than the that of Disney+ in other markets, the company said in a statement. Arpu or average revenue per user for Disney+ dropped from $4.62 to $4.16 due to a higher mix of Disney+ Hotstar subscribers in the June quarter compared to a year ago, partially offset by a lower mix of wholesale subscribers and product price increase.
“Disney+ Hotstar Arpu also increased from Q2 to Q3 due to higher ad revenue per subscriber, reflecting the roughly four weeks of IPL matches that were played in Q3 versus none in Q2,” McCarthy added. The IPL will make a comeback this September after its abrupt suspension in May due to the second wave of covid-19. Building on the need to cater to a price-sensitive market such as India, Disney+ Hotstar had announced a new range of price plans, including a mobile-only annual plan for ₹499 introduced last month.
Hotstar earlier charged ₹399 annually for its VIP service and ₹1,499 for the Premium plan. It became the third foreign service to introduce a mobile-only plan for India after Netflix launched a mobile subscription for ₹199 per month in 2019, and Amazon Prime Video offered membership at ₹89 a month to Airtel prepaid customers.
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