Disney+ goes from strength to strength in India as US growth slows down

India contributed almost 38 million paid subscribers to Disney+'s total of 110 million subscribers in the third quarter ending June

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 5, 2021 8:38 AM

After surpassing 100 million global paid subscribers in just 16 months, growth has slowed down for Disney+ in its primary market, the US. However, the platform continues to see brisk subscriber addition in India and Latin America.

As per the latest information sourced by The Information, India contributed almost 38 million paid subscribers to Disney+'s total of 110 million subscribers in the third quarter ending June. Disney+ Hotstar added 12 million subscribers over the past six months. India now contributes as many subscribers to Disney+ as US and Canada put together.

"Disney+ had a little more than 110 million total subscribers late in Disney’s third fiscal quarter, which ran through early July, according to the internal data, up from the 103.6 million the company reported for the quarter ending April 3. Of the most recent total, nearly 38 million were in India, up 12 million over the past six months. The US and Canada together accounted for close to 38 million subscribers. That compares with the start of February, when North America had about 37 million subscribers, according to two people with knowledge of the internal data," The Information said in a report.

For the second quarter ended 3 April, Disney+ Hotstar comprised 1/3rd of Disney+'s 104 million paid subscribers. Disney+ Hotstar had 34.67 paid subscribers in Q2, compared to 28.47 million in Q1 for the quarter ended December 2020. The platform, which is available in India, Indonesia, and Singapore, had added 6.2 million paid subscribers in Q2.

Speaking about Disney+ Hotstar, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek had recently said that the Indian video streaming market is unique as the market dynamics are totally different compared to other markets. He also said that the Indian market is unique due to its mass-market pricing and mobile-first distribution.

"Well, we have an unparalleled collection of entertainment and sports in our Hotstar offering, something we're really proud of. But it's a unique market. That's the case around the world, but really is a unique market unique because we have particularly what I'll call mass-market pricing and distribution, but it's a unique market in terms of that distribution because it's really a mobile-first market, which is kind of unusual," Chapek said while speaking at JPMorgan 49th Annual Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference in May.

He also said that the platforms have to come up with customised offerings since Indian consumers have a preference for local language content. "They have low bandwidth, and so we have to tailor our offerings to match that low bandwidth, and local languages are particularly important there. And so we have to sort of customise for each of those unique elements, but we think that our premium programming evidenced by the sports I referenced especially things like cricket and that local content, we have, I think 17,000 hours a year of local content that we create for Hotstar. And I think that really drives our local affinity and we're excited to launch in Malaysia on June 1," Chapek stated.

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