The Walt Disney Company on Wednesday announced that its Disney+ service has now over 50 million subscribers with the company reaching the landmark within five months after its US launch. Further, the company said that the Hotstar service through which Disney+ services were made available in India accounts for around eight million of the 50 million paid subscribers. The Disney+ service is operated by the Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company and was initially launched in the US on November 12, 2019. Robert Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in the company’s first quarter earnings call that the Disney+ service reached 26.5 million paid subscribers by the end of December. In late March, the company announced that it has launched its service in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. France was added to the list on April 7.
Hotstar Contributed 8 Million Subscribers to Disney+ Subscriber Tally
The company on April 3 made its service available to the Indian audience through Star India’s Hotstar app and rebranded it to Disney+ Hotstar. It has to be noted that the Walt Disney group acquired Star India’s parent company 21st Century Fox in 2019. Hotstar was always tipped to carry for Disney+ service with DTCI leveraging Hotstar's userbase and infrastructure.
In the earnings call in February, Iger said that his company saw Hotstar as a “great opportunity” for them to launch the Disney+ service. Further, Iger said that they would “take advantage of the presence of Star in the market and the millions of subscribers.”
Kevin Mayer, Chairman of DTCI said in the release that the 50 million subscriber landmark feat achieved by Disney+ “bodes well” for its future expansion later in the year.
“We’re truly humbled that Disney+ is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year,” Mayer said. “Great storytelling inspires and uplifts, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to deliver a vast array of great entertainment rooted in joy and optimism on Disney+.”
Disney+ Hotstar Service Available in Three Offerings
With the introduction of Disney+ content on the Disney+ Hotstar app, the company revised its plans to reflect the new changes. The free plan tier users can continue to watch free content including catch-up TV shows in eight Indian languages, movies and on-demand news for free. However, those interested in watching The Lion King, Frozen II and Aladdin along with films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe need to upgrade to the Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscription. The VIP subscription is offered for Rs 399. Additionally, those interested in unlocking the English language for the Disney content along with access to American shows from HBO and Fox would need to upgrade to the premium subscription. The Disney+ Hotstar Premium plan can be subscribed for Rs 1,499 per year.