Disney+ Hotstar's FY20 rev shoots up while net loss narrows

The company's revenue jumped to Rs 1628 crore in FY2020 from Rs 1123 crore in the previous fiscal

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Updated: Feb 11, 2021 3:58 PM

Novi Digital Entertainment, OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar's parent company, has seen a spike in its revenue while the losses have narrowed in FY20, according to financial data accessed by business intelligence platform, Tofler.

The company's revenue jumped to Rs 1628 crore in FY2020 from Rs 1123 crore in the previous fiscal. Loss narrowed to Rs 361.8 crore compared to Rs 554.38 crore. The net loss narrowed even as expenses rose to Rs 1990 crore from Rs 1677 crore a year ago.

The company's revenue from operations stood at Rs 1593 crore compared to Rs 1112.7 crore. Novi Digital's ad revenue stood at Rs 974.23 Cr compared to Rs 622.75 crore in FY19. Subscription revenue jumped to Rs 618.79 crore as against Rs 466.64 crore in FY19.

Novi Digital's operating expenses stood at Rs 1383.30 crore compared to Rs 969.63 crore. Other expenses stood at Rs 405.30 crore compared to Rs 510.44 crore. License Fees payment ballooned to Rs 722.53 from Rs 493.84 crore.

The Rights/Programme costs jumped to Rs 328.65 crore compared to Rs 183.22 crore. Technical costs stood at Rs 300.08 crore as against Rs 282.42 crore. The company also cut down its advertising promotional expenses to Rs 286 crore from Rs 402.5 crore. Programming expenses were up at Rs 32.09 crore compared to Rs 10.15 crore.

During the year under review, the company allotted 2,78,44,05,344 equity shares of Rs 1/- each at a premium of Rs 3/- per share on a rights basis to the existing shareholders of the Company in March 2020, increasing the paid-up share capital of the Company toRs 9,76,74,34,162 consisting of 9,76,74,34,162 equity shares of Rs 1/- each as on March 31, 2020.

Novi Digital owns, operates, and manages the audio-visual streaming platform, Disney+ Hotstar (accessible via www.hotstar.com and the Hotstar application). With the launch of Disney+ in India, ‘Hotstar’ was renamed to ‘Disney+ Hotstar’. Disney+ Hotstar currently offers more than 100,000+ hours of content spanning TV shows and movies in 8 languages, regional and national news, and coverage of every major sporting tournament.

Disney+ Hotstar Premium has a large selection of Disney+ originals, latest American shows, blockbuster Hollywood movies, and award-winning content from international studios; whereas with Disney+ Hotstar VIP, users get access to Disney content in local languages, exclusive new content from the Hotstar Specials label, new Bollywood blockbuster movies for direct release on Disney+ Hotstar through its ‘Multiplex’ feature, access to STAR network serials before television, and the latest and best of live sporting action.

Disney+ Hotstar has been downloaded by more than 400 million users, making it one of the most in-demand apps in India, and also secured top spots on the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store. Further, Disney+ Hotstar has had up to 300 million monthly active users.

As reported earlier, Disney+ Hotstar had crossed 26 million paid subscriber base as of 2nd December 2020. The platform comprised 30% of Disney+'s 86.8 million global subscriber base. The platform had added roughly 7.5 million paid subscribers in two months driven by the Indian Premier League (IPL). In September 2020, its paid subscriber base stood at 18.5 million.

Star-Disney India refused to comment on the story.

Of the 86.8 million Disney Plus subs, about 30% (or 24 million) are via Disney Plus Hotstar in India, Disney International Operations and Direct-to-Consumer segment chairman Rebecca Campbell had said during her presentation at the company's annual Investor Day event.

"With a rapidly growing middle class, India is a promising market opportunity and we are uniquely positioned to succeed in the country due to our existing presence with Star TV and Hotstar," she had stated.

Disney senior executive vice president and CFO had stated that Disney+ Hotstar is expected to contribute 30-40% of its projected paid subscriber base of 230-260 million by 2024.

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