The Walt Disney Company recently revealed that Disney+Hotstar has nearly 8 million paid users. Globally, the company claimed that the flagship streaming platform Disney+ has attracted more than 50 million paid users. Interestingly, while Disney+Hotstar has one of the highest paid users, Hotstar registered a 30% dip in user engagement, according to the data released by market research firm KalaGato. The streaming platform which used to register over 50 minutes a day of time spent in February, registered under 40 minutes as on March 28.
Hotstar was launched in 2015 in India and since then has emerged as one of the top over-the-top (OTT) platforms in India. According to industry estimates, most of Hotstar’s growth can be attributed to sports and cricket rights it controls, including the Indian Premier League (IPL). During the peak of the cricket season, Hotstar is estimated to peak at around 300 million active users.
It should be noted that Disney+ is available in India in conjunction with the Hotstar streaming platform, which was acquired as part of Disney’s $71 billion purchase of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in 2019. As part of this deal, Disney gained ownership of TV broadcaster Star India, which controls 60 local TV channels and the streaming platform Hotstar.
Launched in the US in November, Disney+ was rolled out in eight European countries, including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland and India, in the last two weeks. Disney+ competes with more than three dozen international and local players in India, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Times Internet’s MX Player (which has over 175 million monthly active users), Zee5 and Alt Balaji, which has over 27 million subscribers. Disney+’s rival Netflix Inc, which has services available in over 190 countries, has nearly 167 million paid subscribers globally, out of which 16 million are from Asia-Pacific region, as of its last reported quarter.