After delaying the planned launch for a month, Disney-owned Hotstar has launched its Disney+ video streaming service in India. The launch will bring Disney+‘s catalog of movies and shows such as Lion King, Iron Man, and The Mandalorian for a premium subscription of ₹1,499 ($20) a year.
The premium package will give you access to ad-free live sports streaming, and original and licensed shows from Hostar, Disney, Fox, HBO, and Showtime. Earlier, Hostar offered its premium subscription at ₹999 ($13) per year, with the aforementioned content without Disney‘s catalog. If you have an active Hotstar premium subscription, you won’t have to pay any extra amount to access Disney’s content till your plan expires.
If you’re not interested in watching shows from American studios, the company is offering a ₹399 ($5.25) per year Disney+ Hostar VIP subscription with movies, live sports, and shows from Hostar’s Indian library.
In comparison to Hotstar, Netflix’s plan with HD support costs ₹650 ($8.55) per month, and Amazon Prime subscription with Amazon Prime video costs ₹999 ($13) a year.
It’s notable that despite the growing catalog of movies and shows, live sports remains the main attraction for the Disney-owned entity. Last year, during the IPL cricket tournament, it registered more than 300 million monthly active users, and 100 million daily active users. It’s important to highlight that many of these users were watching matches under a free ad-supported tier streamed with a slight delay from the live telecast.
The company had originally planned to launch the service alongside the new season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament last month. However, as the coronavirus pandemic delayed the competition, the streaming service had to postpone the launch.
Prior to that, the host of The Tonight show with John Oliver slammed Disney for not broadcasting his show criticizing PM Narendra Modi in India, and censoring some of his other episodes. With Hostar being the first one to sign a self-regulatory code along with some other Indian streaming services,you can look forward to more instances of censorship on these platforms in India in the near future.