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Unlike in North America, the anticipated April 3 arrival of Disney Plus in India was more of a rebranding than a launch. Of the nation’s 560 million internet users, 8 million are now paid subscribers to “Disney Plus Hotstar,” as Disney recently boasted, thanks in large part to the acquisition of Hotstar. Most of those 8 million subscribers were already signed up to the 21st Century Fox-owned film and TV streaming service before it merged with Disney Plus to become an even bigger streaming behemoth.
What separates Disney Plus Hotstar from regular old Disney Plus? Besides a mostly white UI now streaked by hints of Disney blue, the platform’s content runs far beyond the familiar. For 1,499 rupees ($19.59) per year, Hotstar’s Premium tier grants you access to not only the Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar libraries — most of which were already available before it was Disney Plus — but also to HBO, Showtime, news broadcasts, live cricket matches (also available through a free tier), and a whole host of not just Bollywood movies, but regional-language Indian films. It even has the entire filmography of Iranian director Jafar Panahi, whose socially minded art films were made under house arrest and are banned by the Iranian government — a far cry from Disney’s sanitized, family-friendly image.
In the U.S., Disney Plus costs three and a half times as much, and hosts a fraction of the content. But the economics of streaming are wildly different in South Asia. Hotstar is technically available in North America, but costs $49.99 per year, and only features Indian sports and entertainment for the targeted South Asian diaspora audience. What a dollar gets you in the States isn’t really comparable to what a dollar gets you in India; according to the Big Mac Index, an informal index comparing the purchasing power of currencies based on how much a Big Mac costs by country, the U.S. stands at $5.67 while India (what up, Maharaja Mac?) clocks in at $2.65. But that’s still only twice as much, and it doesn’t account for the complete cultural picture when it comes to India’s streaming habits.
Until the early 2015 launch of Hotstar — and, quite significantly, the service’s late 2015 acquisition of the rights to Game of Thrones — there was no legal way to watch major American TV shows anywhere near their original broadcast dates. In fact, there was barely an online rental market for movies or shows in general, and the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime were still a year away. More than just standard-of-living costs, the biggest competition for streaming companies breaking into India was the ubiquity of piracy. The price point they’d compete with was, effectively, zero.
Five years later, Hotstar leads the Indian streaming pack by a significant margin. Between its Premium and 399 rupee ($5.22) VIP tiers — the latter grants access to all Indian content, and Disney Plus in a variety of Indian languages, though not English — the site’s 8 million paid users dwarf Amazon Prime’s 4.4 million, many of whom pay the 999 rupee yearly fee ($13.06) for delivery benefits. The much higher-priced Netflix, at 649 rupees ($8.48) per month, trails even further behind, with less than 2 million subscribers.
The likes of Netflix have slowly been adapting to the Indian market — the price point proved a significant enough barrier that the company recently introduced a 199 rupee ($2.60) mobile-only tier. In the meantime, other Indian streaming giants have cropped up, like Eros Now and ATL Balaji, which carry and produce mostly Indian works, and have over 25 million and 5 million subscribers, respectively (though many of them signed up indirectly through cable subscriptions; their direct paid subscribers still pale in comparison to Hotstar’s). Language is a big reason Netflix has struggled to keep up; while it’s a go-to for English-language content, and even hosts new weekly episodes of American shows like Riverdale and Better Call Saul, it’s severely lacking in both regional Indian programming and local dubbing for American films.
Netflix, which launched in India in 2016, has since teamed up with local Indian production houses to create high-quality Hindi shows like Sacred Games, featuring major Bollywood stars. However, Hotstar had the advantage of a stronger regional foothold. The service was launched by Indian media conglomerate Star India, a subsidiary of Chinese company Star TV, the first regional satellite broadcaster in Asia. In 1993, Star TV was purchased by News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch; today, it’s known as Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific. Until India’s economic liberalization in 1991, all telecommunications were handled by the government, so when Star entered the market a few years later, it became one of the first private broadcasters to bring foreign and local programming to Indian homes. Since its arrival in India, Star has launched a number of nationwide channels that have become commonplace — for everything from cricket on Star Sports, to Hindi soap operas on Star Plus, to Friends on Star World — but it also acquired a number of regional-language stations as well, languages spoken by hundreds of millions of people across the country. Before streaming even existed, Fox essentially built the roadmap into the Indian household.
While Hindi and English are India’s most widely spoken languages — by 692 million and 129 million people, respectively, according to the 2011 census — they still account for only about half the population, and are just two of the country’s 22 official languages. Hotstar, therefore, offers big releases like Avengers: Endgame in Tamil and Telugu, while the site’s “Movies” tab leads to a drop-down menu where you can browse films by language, including Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, and more (although, since the rebranding, Disney movies dubbed in those languages tend to show up before locally produced films).
Localization is also one of the reasons for Disney’s success in Indian cinemas. Last year, Endgame became the sixth highest-grossing film of all time at the Indian box office. The only other foreign films to crack the top 50 are also Disney productions: Avengers: Infinity War, The Jungle Book, and The Lion King, each of which had wide releases in a multitude of languages (the latter two even brought in major Bollywood stars for their Hindi versions). Applying that same localization mentality to streaming has been a major factor in helping Hotstar, and now Disney, stay ahead.
A near-monopoly on scripted entertainment has its downsides. For one thing, Disney’s increased market share and bargaining power mean there are fewer non-Disney films even on Indian screens. There’s also the issue of censorship: Hotstar has every episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight since 2019, except a recent one where John Oliver criticized the Indian government. In the episodes it does have, it opts to edit out jokes at the expense of Disney characters. (See also: Disney Plus in all regions digitally covering up Daryl Hannah’s butt in the 1984 film Splash).
Then again, recorded programming isn’t the only reason for Hotstar’s success. Unlike Disney Plus elsewhere, Disney Plus Hotstar also has a livestream component. It’s how I watched the Oscars this year, and how many people access news channels, especially on the go. But the jewel in Disney’s Hotstar crown is undoubtedly its live cricket broadcasts, via the website’s free tier. The site was first launched to coincide with the 2015 Cricket World Cup, an event watched by 1.5 billion people; in fact, the Disney rebranding was originally meant to line up with the March 29 premiere of the (now-delayed) 2020 Indian Premier League.
Cricket is a big deal in India. By the end of 2017, Hotstar had amassed 75 million monthly active users between its free and paid tiers. Today, that figure has grown to over 300 million — almost as much as the entire population of the United States.
As an influx of new streaming services splinters viewing in the U.S. — who’s ready to watch The Office on Peacock for an additional $9.99? — it’s nice to see a cheap, one-stop platform for everything from sports to The Sopranos to a smorgasbord of Indian fare. It’s one of the few global examples of streaming actually outdoing traditional media by evolving with the market, rather than mutating into Expensive Cable Bundling 2.0. Wary as one ought to be of the ever-growing Disney empire, you do, under this circumstance, gotta hand it to them.
Wholly owned subsidiary. The Walt Disney Company (India) Private Limited started operations in July 2004 based in Mumbai. On 17 December 2004, Walt Disney Television International India launched the Disney Channel and Toon Disney channel with five language feeds (English, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil languages) ...Does Disney plus have Indian dramas? ›
Disney Plus Hotstar has a massive library of Hindi TV shows from all the Star TV channels you usually watch through cable TV.Does Disney plus do Indian movies? ›
Starting September 1, 2021, a selection of your favorite Indian entertainment and sports will be available with the Disney Bundle. All existing and upcoming Hotstar Specials, as well as select blockbuster movies will be available on Hulu.Is Netflix beating Disney? ›
The Disney streaming service, comprised of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, reported 221 million customers at the end of its fiscal year third quarter of 2022, beating out Netflix's subscriber count of 220 million for the same period.Which Disney movie is based on India? ›
"Roadside Romeo" was inspired by Mumbai's legions of stray dogs and written by the Bollywood actor Jugal Hansraj, who is making his debut as a director. The animation itself is entirely the work of the Mumbai-based Tata Elxsi outfit. "I have always loved animation films since my childhood.Has Disney made an Indian movie? ›
'Brahmastra' is much awaited movie this year. The film has made it even more worth it as it became the first ever Indian movie to have global release under the Disney Studios banner.Will Disney plus India work in USA? ›
After its merger with the Walt Disney Company, it is now available to stream in the US, Canada, Singapore, and the UK. Unfortunately, Indian Hotstar is geo-restricted in the USA. But the good news is, you can bypass these location restrictions by using a VPN.Which OTT platform is best? ›
- Disney + Hotstar. Disney+Hotstar is many people's favorite as it streams IPL (one of the biggest sporting Premium Leagues in the world), TV shows, Hotstar Originals, and movies. ...
- Netflix. ...
- SonyLiv. ...
- Amazon Prime. ...
- Zee5. ...
- Voot. ...
- TVF Play. ...
Here is how to access Disney+ video streaming service in India, details: Step 1: Head to APKPure to download the latest version of Disney+ app. Once you have downloaded the app, install in on your smartphone. Step 2: Second step is to download a VPN app and then connect to the United States or Canada server.Is Disney owned by India? ›
|Formerly||Star India (1990–2022)|
|Founded||1 August 1990|
|Headquarters||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
In India, Disney+ Hotstar offers Super and Premium plans. The monthly premium plan is priced at Rs 299/month, whereas the yearly premium plan is priced at Rs 1499. Disney+ Hotstar also sells another subscription plan in India, which is called the Super plan. The plan is priced at Rs 899 per year.What movies are not allowed on Disney Plus? ›
- Song of the South (1946)
- Moon Pilot (1962)
- Son of Flubber (1963)
- Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar (1967)
- Popeye (1980)
- The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
- Condorman (1981)
- Dragonslayer (1981)
And as of Q2 2022, Disney's streaming empire (Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) has more combined subscribers than Netflix, and are gaining at a rapid pace.Is Disney losing money on streaming? ›
The most immediate target of that could be Disney+, the streaming service that Iger helped launch in 2019. Losses at the unit more than doubled in the last reported quarter to $1.5 billion.Which country has most Netflix subscribers? ›
As of Q3 2022, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa have the highest number of paying customers. They gather around 73.53 million Netflix customers between them. With 73.39 million members, U.S.A. and Canada are in the second position. With 39.94 million members, Latin America ranks third.Which Marvel movie shooted India? ›
- The Avengers.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (mentioned)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- Black Panther (map) Eternals.
Meet Mira, Disney's First Indian Character In A Lead Role!
Mulan, Pocahontas, Moana and now, wait for it… Mira. In news that will delight you, Disney Junior is all set to release an animated series titled Mira, The Royal Detective. Why is it delightful, you ask?
While the movie is set in a city based on Baghdad, Iraq, Aladdin contains aspects of multiple Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. The sultan's palace in Aladdin, left, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.Who made 1st film in India? ›
Raja Harishchandra ( transl. King Harishchandra) is a 1913 Indian silent film directed and produced by Dadasaheb Phalke. It is often considered the first full-length Indian feature film.Why is there no Disney in India? ›
American entertainment company Walt Disney, which is investing $5 billion in a brand new theme park at Shanghai in China, has ruled out any investments in a theme park in India due to lack of support infrastructure apart from high investments required and sustainability of getting in visitors to the park on an ongoing ...
Pocahontas became the first Native American Disney Princess and the first woman of color to be the lead character in a Disney film.Which VPN is best for Hotstar? ›
- NordVPN: The best VPN for Hotstar. ...
- Surfshark: Best value VPN. ...
- ExpressVPN: Servers in 94 countries, including India. ...
- CyberGhost: High-speed servers in 90+ countries. ...
- IPVanish: Connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. ...
- PrivateVPN: Unlimited bandwidth for streaming Hotstar.
Here's how to watch Hotstar online outside India:
Download and install a VPN that works with Hotstar. NordVPN is the most reliable option. Open your VPN and pick a server in India. Clear your browser cache and cookies to remove location information from previous sessions.
Start by signing up for one of the VPNs below (we recommend NordVPN). Download and install the VPN app on any device you'd like to stream on. Log in and connect to an Indian server to get an Indian IP address.Which is the cheapest OTT platform in India? ›
The list includes Disney+ Hotstar, ZEE5, Voot Select, SonyLIV, MX Player, hoichoi, Namma flix, Chaupal, Planet Marathi, Sun NXT, and more. Yes, Tata Play, formerly known as Tata Sky, has announced the cheapest OTT subscription for all smartphone users, including those who aren't DTH subscribers.Which is the richest OTT platform in the world? ›
OTT Service #1 – Netflix
Netflix holds a massive library of original and On-Demand video content with the availability of a large number of OTT devices. You may also find out how does Netflix makes money.
Hotstar, (now Disney+ Hotstar), is the most subscribed–to OTT platform in India, owned by Star India as of July 2020, with around 300 million active users and over 350 million downloads.Does Disney+ allow VPN? ›
Thankfully, a VPN can help you access the Disney+ library of your choice from anywhere in the world. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN encrypts internet traffic and sends it through an intermediary server in your choice of location.Does Disney Plus detect VPN? ›
Upon launch, Disney claimed its streaming service was “VPN proof.” That's not the case, but Disney does try to detect and block IP addresses associated with VPNs. If your VPN is being detected, you'll see a message that reads “Service unavailable. Disney+ is not available at your location.”Is Disney Plus the same in every country? ›
It's still important to note that the vast majority of content available is identical around the world and every region has at least one title that no other country has. Where do you watch Disney+?
Of the three main international streaming services in India, Disney is at the top, with just under 60 million subscribers.Why did Disney exit Indian movie production? ›
Given the challenges with the current economic model for investing in the local film industry, we intend to shift the focus of our film strategy to driving our Hollywood movie slate in India,” a Disney India spokesman told Variety by email. ” These movies enjoyed considerable success including 'The Jungle Book' which ...Who is owner of Hotstar? ›
Disney+ Hotstar is an online video streaming platform owned by Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Star India Private Limited.Is Netflix cheaper than Disney+? ›
If you only watch in HD quality and don't need more than 1 stream, Netflix is slightly cheaper as you can just take its Basic plan. It's cheaper still if you don't mind ads in your Netflix viewing experience and get the Basic with Ads plan.Is Netflix cheaper than Disney Plus? ›
Disney Plus is cheaper than Netflix
Disney Plus wins the streaming wars price competition, even when its subscription prices change on Dec. 8. The straightforward $8 per month plan includes 4K streaming, Imax capabilities and four simultaneous streams. You can also download available titles on up to 10 devices.
- New Zealand: 6.99 monthly or $69.99 yearly.
- Netherlands: $8.14 monthly.
- Spain: $8.14 per month.
- Germany: $8.14 per month.
- France: $8.14 per month.
- Italy: $8.14 per month.
- India: $5 per month.
- Malaysia: $4.34 per month.
Disney Plus hidden features: Access special features
To access this bonus content, select what you want to watch and then click the “extras” tab underneath the play button. Here you can find trailers, deleted scenes, gag reels and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Those are Marvel characters, but the films are Sony-distributed flicks, so they aren't destined for Disney Plus anytime soon.Why were movies removed from Disney Plus? ›
Existing Contracts: The main reason why movies and shows are removed from Disney+ are due to preexisting contracts that had been signed before Disney+ launched. For years Disney and 20th Century Fox have been licensing out their content to streaming services including Netflix, Fubo, HBO, Starz and others.What is Netflixs biggest movie? ›
- "Red Notice" (2021) — 364.02 million hours.
- "Don't Look Up" (2021) — 359.79 million. ...
- "Bird Box" (2018) — 282.02 million hours. ...
- "The Gray Man" (2022) — 253.87 million hours. ...
- "The Adam Project" (2022) — 233.15 million hours. ...
- "Extraction" (2020) — 231.3 million hours. ...
- "Purple Hearts" (2022) — 228.69 million hours. ...
- Squid Game (season 1), a Korean survival thriller -- 1.65 billion hours.
- Stranger Things (season 4), a retro sci-fi series -- 1.35 billion hours.
- Dahmer, a true-crime serial killer series -- 856.2 million hours.
Disney's direct-to-consumer division, which also includes Hulu and ESPN+, on Tuesday reported an operating loss of nearly $1.5 billion, more than doubling its loss of $630 million during the same quarter a year earlier.Has Disney had a flop? ›
Walt Disney Animation Studios' big release for 2022, the pink-hued computer-animated film Strange World, has flopped apocalyptically at the box office.Does Disney make more money than Amazon? ›
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) carries a market capitalization of $1.56 trillion, about 4x last year's sales of $386 billion. But when you look at Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock, the company is worth $375 billion, or 5.4x fiscal 2020's revenue of $65 billion.How Much will Disney+ cost? ›
From new releases to your favorite classics and exclusive Originals, there's something for everyone. Access unlimited entertainment with Disney+ for $7.99/month or $79.99/year. The price of Disney+ and the Disney Bundle will increase starting on 12/8/2022. Learn more at disneyplus.com/priceinfo.Which country has free Netflix? ›
Netflix Free Subscription: One of the biggest and most popular streaming platforms in the world, Netflix, has announced to offer a free subscription of its mobile plan in Kenya. With this, users in the market will get access to about a quarter of TV shows and movies streaming on the platform.Which country binge watches the most? ›
But it's the Canadians who are the biggest binge-watchers out of this bunch, watching 94,648 minutes or 66 days of Netflix on average. That's 20 days more than the average viewer. Over 80 percent of the content watched is a TV series, too. TIP – Want to securely access different Netflix catalogs?Which gender watches Netflix more? ›
The average Netflix user is more likely to be female, but only barely. And 68% of Netflix subscribers have some or no college education — about 33% have at least a bachelor's degree.When did Disney+ launch in Asia? ›
|Release date||Country/territory||Release partner(s)|
|February 23, 2021||Singapore||StarHub|
|Malaysia||(via Hotstar) Astro, unifi (unifi TV)|
|Thailand||(via Hotstar) AIS|
|South Korea||LG Uplus, KT Mobile|
The character first showed up on Doordarshan towards the late 1980s and is currently seen in Mickey Mouse animated shorts, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Mickey and the Roadster Racers on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.
Netflix entered the Indian market in 2016, when an average Indian earned just Rs 95,751 per annum, with subscription plans starting Rs 6,000 a year.When was Disney Hotstar launched in India? ›
Launch. Originally launched as Hotstar, the service rebranded into Disney+ Hotstar on April 3, 2020. Originally launched as Hotstar, the Hotstar content moved into Hulu on September 1, 2021.Is Disney ban in China? ›
Disney has a long history of censoring its films to remain in the CCP's good graces. In 1996, the company was blocked from the Chinese film market after its production of Kundun, which displays Chinese oppression of the Tibetan people.Why was Disney removed from Asia? ›
Closure. Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior ceased transmissions in Singapore on 1 June 2020 after failing to renew their contracts, on both Singtel and StarHub. Its content was moved to and replaced with Disney+, since it was launched in the country on 23 February 2021.Why did Disney got removed in Asia? ›
Disney Channel has officially shut down in Southeast Asia to focus more on streaming. Clave Justin Scott and 1,985 others like this.Who is called Mickey Mouse of India? ›
It was here that Naidu often referred to Mahatma Gandhi as "Mickey Mouse'', a name believed to have been affectionately given by British media because his ears stuck out like the cartoon character (Mickey Mouse). On March 2, 1949, Naidu died after a heart attack at her Lucknow office in Uttar Pradesh.Will Disney lose the rights to Mickey Mouse in 2024? ›
The copyright for the earliest version of Mickey Mouse will expire in 2024. What does this mean for the world's most famous mouse? In 2024, the earliest iteration of Disney's Mickey Mouse will enter the public domain.Who called Mickey Mouse to Gandhiji? ›
Sarojini Naidu birth anniversary: The Nightingale of India nicknamed Mahatma Gandhi 'Mickey Mouse'Is Netflix losing in India? ›
The sharp price cuts announced by streaming giant Netflix in December 2021 across its subscription plans in India caused a drop of two per cent in its average revenue per member (ARM) for the Asia-Pacific region, it said on Wednesday when announcing its June quarter results.Why is Netflix so frustrated with India? ›
Where the company has for the second time reduced its prices. “What's unique about India is cable, which is about $3 (INR 225) per month per household, which is radically different pricing than the rest of the world, which does impact consumer expectations,” Hastings added.
The poor content is being reflected in the box office numbers. According to a Koimoi website, 77% of bollywood releases have been flops this year. In the January-July period this year, overall gross box office collections stood at over Rs 6,000 crore.Which country owns Disney+ Hotstar? ›
Outside of India, the Disney+ Hotstar service also operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, where it similarly combines entertainment content licensed from local, third-party studios, with the larger Disney+ library. Disney+ Hotstar is also expected to launch in Vietnam in early 2023.Who is the CEO of Hotstar? ›
Ajit Mohan, the chief executive officer of Star India's over-the-top video service Hotstar, has been named Facebook India's vice-president a...