Disney+ to be launched in India on March 29
The existing Hotstar VIP/Premium services will be rebranded as Disney+Hotstar
Disney+ will be launched in India on March 29 via Hotstar, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced during the Walt Disney Company's first quarter financial conference call. Hotstar VIP/Premium will also be rebranded as Disney+Hotstar.
“We are excited to announce that we will be launching Disney+ in India through Hotstar on March 29 at the beginning of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket season. We will also be rebranding our existing Hotstar VIP/Premium service to Disney+Hotstar. We see a great opportunity to use a proven platform of Hotstar to launch new Disney+ service in one of the most popular countries and the fastest growing economy in the world,” Iger said.
Disney+ and Hotstar will be bundled together, the company said refusing to give specifics about the pricing. Iger said: “We expect two product point in India. One will be more premium in nature and will include the entire library and original programming and the other one will be basic which will have the library and not the original programming.”
The company said Disney+ now has 26.5 million paid subscribers, up from the 10 million sign-ups at the launch of the service in November.
In its financial statement, Disney has said that Direct-to-Consumer and International revenues for the quarter increased from $0.9 billion to $4.0 billion and the segment operating loss has increased from $136 million to $693 million. The increase in operating loss was due to costs associated with the launch of Disney+, the consolidation of Hulu and a higher loss at ESPN+.
“These increases were partially offset by a benefit from the inclusion of the TFCF businesses due to income at the international channels, including Star 4. The increase in operating loss at ESPN+ was primarily due to higher programming costs, primarily for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) rights, and an increase in marketing spend, partially offset by subscriber revenue growth and UFC pay-per-view fees. Commencing March 20, 2019, as a result of our acquisition of a controlling interest in Hulu, 100% of Hulu’s revenues and expenses are included in the Direct-to-Consumer & International segment. Prior to March 20, 2019, only the Company’s ownership share of Hulu results was included (as equity in the loss of investees).”
As per the financial report, the average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for ESPN+ has decreased from $4.67 to $4.44 due to a shift in the mix of subscribers to our bundled offering.
The report further said: “In November 2019, the company began offering a bundled subscription package of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu. The bundled offering has a lower average retail price per service compared to the average retail price of each service on a standalone basis. The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for our Hulu SVOD Only service decreased from $14.49 to $13.15 driven by lower retail pricing and a shift in the mix of subscribers to our bundled offering. The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for our Hulu Live TV + SVOD service increased from $52.31 to $59.47 due to higher retail pricing.”
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