Even as Disney+ Hotstar would stop streaming HBO content from Friday, 58% of its surveyed users said they would continue their subscriptions and watch other content on the OTT app, according to consumer intelligence platform YouGov.
Original shows, Hotstar Specials, bollywood movies, sports highlights/live sports, other global shows, Star TV content, among others, would prompt the users to not cancel their subscriptions of Disney+ Hotstar in absence of HBO content and IPL, YouGov said based on a survey of 1,050 people. Under a fifth or 18% of all respondents surveyed said they will not renew their subscription this year, whereas 8% will not take a new subscription, and 5% will continue with a shared subscription.
“YouGov data shows that although Hotstar might see some churn, the absence of popular content like live sports and international shows might not have a major impact on the brand’s overall health,” said Deepa Bhatia, general manager of YouGov India. Less than 5% said they will switch to other platforms in the absence of IPL & HBO content, which is a very small percentage compared to the ones who will continue with the platform, YouGov said.
In a bid to cut down on costs, Disney+ Hotstar decided to not renew the terms with HBO, which owns popular content such as Game of Thrones, The White Lotus and Last of Us, among others. Following the announcement, many users expressed their disappointment and even demanded their money back.
Already facing heat from losing the digital streaming rights of IPL, analysts said the end of its deal with HBO would also lead to more loss of subscribers. In the quarter ended December 2022, Disney+ Hotstar lost around 3.8 million paid subscribers taking its base to 57.5 million. “There is a strong resonance among urban Indians towards original content on the platform — be it web series or films. Disney+ Hotstar may benefit from understanding the current needs and preferences of consumers and work towards a content strategy to retain and grow their subscriber base,” Bhatia added.
According to the survey, the demand for Disney+ Hotstar content is maximum among people in South India compared to other regions. Hotstar Specials emerged as the most popular choice of subscribers/ shared subscribers and 63% said they will consume Hotstar Specials content on the platform.
Besides Hotstar Specials, nearly half are keen to watch films released on the platform either after their theatrical release or the ones exclusively released on Hotstar.