Disney’s much-awaited Disney Plus streaming service will go live for India starting April 3, according to a press note issued by Disney India. The India-launch of Disney Plus comes just days after the service went live in seven European countries (the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland) simultaneously. Disney seemed to have decided to go ahead with the launch even as most of the word continues to reel under the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the flip side, with people spending more time at home, this might just be the perfect time for a launch for a new streaming service.
In India, Disney already owns and operates the popular streaming service Hotstar, and by the looks of it, the Disney Plus service shall be offered as an additional bouquet. Currently, the premium subscription to Hotstar costs ₹999 per year. With the addition of offerings from Disney, the price of this combined bouquet will go up to ₹1400 per year. At this time, there is no word if the package will be available without the Disney content at the existing price tag of ₹999.
Hotstar currently claims to have a userbase of more than 300 million monthly active users in India. The service generally sees a massive traffic spike during the March-May period during the IPL series. The 2020 tournament, however, seems to have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing lockdown in India. This will almost certainly result in a reduction in the number of viewers for Hotstar this year.
Apart from the all-in-one plan that costs ₹999, Hotstar also has an affordable plan that currently costs ₹365 a year. The company is expected to increase the price of this service as well, with the price going up to ₹399 per year. Users with the premium subscription will be able to enjoy over 100 series and 250 superhero and animated titles, including Disney+ Originals and shows from HBO, Fox, and Showtime.
Disney has announced that all its existing subscribers will be automatically upgraded to the new subscription plans. They will, however, be required to pay the new rates upon renewal.