Disney+ Hotstar to launch in India: After deferring its launch date earlier this month, media and entertainment conglomerate Walt Disney is all set to bring its video streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar to India on 3 April.
Earlier this month, Hotstar, the video streaming service of the Star network, was rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar ahead of the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The erstwhile black and yellow logo of Hotstar was replaced by a royal blue and white for Disney+ Hotstar. As a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Hotstar, Disney+ will be available in VIP and Premium packages along with an ad-supported version. There’s no separate subscription plan for Disney+ as it will be bundled with the current packages offered on Hotstar. There will be some changes though. As for existing Hotstar users, their subscription plans will be automatically upgraded to the new ones.
Starting 3 April, three distinct offerings – Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium and an ad-supported basic tier will be available for customers. In what Shankar called a minor price correction, the VIP plan will be available for Rs. 399 a year (as opposed to Rs. 365 earlier) while the premium subscription will come for Rs. 1,499 (as compared to Rs. 999). All existing subscribers will be automatically upgraded to their respective new subscription plan and will be charged the new rates upon renewal.
All Disney+ movies and shows will be localized by dubbing or adding subtitles in Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Other languages are also in the offing. Meanwhile, all Hotstar Specials, its Indian originals will be available across the globe too.
Often singled out for its premium sports catalog, Shankar said Disney+ Hotstar will offer a range of content across categories, that will be unmatched in-depth and range by any Indian or global entertainment service.
To be sure, Disney+ enters India at an opportune time. While the COVID-19 outbreak has brought unprecedented change to lives across the world, including India, video streaming and smartphone usage have surged as people stay indoors, work from home and look for ways to keep themselves engaged. According to a report jointly brought out by television monitoring agency BARC and data and measurement firm Nielsen, time spent per user on smartphones in a week has risen by 6% in the post-COVID period while video streaming services have seen a 3% rise.
If you’re planning to get a Disney+ Hotstar subscription, here’s everything you need to know.
Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscription
Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscription plan is priced at Rs 399 per year. Under this plan, users will get access to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe including movies like The Avengers, Iron Man and Thor Ragnarok. Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscribers will also get to watch popular titles like The Lion King and Frozen 2.
In addition to this, Disney+ Hotstar VIP offers kids content like Mickey Mouse and Doraemon. It also has Hotstar Specials, live sports matches, Star serials and more.
Disney+ Hotstar Premium subscription
Disney+ Hotstar Premium subscription is priced at Rs 1,499 per year. This subscription plan brings all the Disney+ Hotstar VIP benefits. In addition to this, Disney+ Hotstar Premium subscribers get to watch exclusive titles like The Mandalorian, Lady and the Tramp and more. This subscription package also includes the latest shows from HBO, Fox and Showtime.