Disney+ picks April 3 launch date on Hotstar in India

The Disney+ launch in India comes after the service's arrival last week in seven new European countries. (Disney)

After a short delay, Disney+ has checked off April 3 as the date for its launch in India, where it will arrive as part of the Hotstar streaming platform.

The original launch date in India was pushed back from March 29 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Yahoo!, Hotstar will be rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar beginning Friday. The pricing options include Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium and an ad-supported tier. Hotstar VIP will be priced at INR 399 per year and will include the Marvel and Pixar movies alongside Bollywood films. Hotstar Premium will be priced at INR 1499 per year and will include Disney originals like “The Mandalorian” and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” along with series from HBO and Showtime.

India is a key international market for U.S.-based streaming services and Disney+ gets to start off with a strong foothold through Hotstar, which Disney acquired as part of its $71.3 billion deal for Fox. Hotstar said last year that it pulled in more than 300 million users during the VIVO IPL 2019 cricket tournament.

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The launch follows the Disney+ arrival last week in seven new European countries.

“As the streaming home for Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic, Disney+ delivers high-quality, optimistic storytelling that fans expect from our brands, now available broadly, conveniently, and permanently on Disney+. We humbly hope that this service can bring some much-needed moments of respite for families during these difficult times,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, in a statement.

MoffettNathanson attempted to measure the global opportunity by comparing and contrasting per-capita box office attendance, ticket pricing and Disney’s share of local box office.

“Our work shows that Disney has a meaningful opportunity to penetrate non-U.S. markets – especially in those ‘Clones of the U.S.’ markets where Disney’s content has dominated the box office,” wrote Michael Nathanson in a research note.

The firm said Disney is entering a Western European market with strong media consumption, Disney film interest, discretionary income and English-language fluency.

“Meanwhile, India represents the largest subscriber TAM outside of China where Disney is poised to leverage mobile leader Hotstar to drive awareness and sampling,” Nathanson wrote.

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