Disney to shutter Hotstar US operations
All of its US content will move to ESPN+ and Hulu starting September 1
Media & Entertainment giant Disney has decided to phase out the US operations of Hotstar by late 2022. Hotstar is Star India's streaming service focused on the South Asian diaspora. In India, Hotstar has been rebranded to Disney+ Hotstar.
Hotstar US content will move to ESPN+ and Hulu starting September 1. Sports content like Indian Premier League (IPL), International Cricket Council (ICC) and India bi-lateral cricket series will move to ESPN+, while the non-sports content including movies and TV shows will shift to Hulu.
Subscribers of Hotstar US service will receive a redemption code to shift their subscriptions to the entire Disney bundle, at no cost. Subscribers who do not want to redeem their offer for the Disney Bundle may request prorated refunds. With this decision, Disney will streamline its operations in the US and grow its paid subscriber base.
“The move from Hotstar, a premium brand for South Asian content, to ESPN Plus and Hulu in the U.S. expands upon the rich and diverse catalogue of live events and stories delivered across the Disney bundle and provides a platform for South Asian content to reach broader audiences,” Disney said in a statement.
In the US, Hotstar annual subscription costs $49.99 per year, while the Disney Bundle starts at $13.99 per month. According to data analytics firm Sensor Tower, the Hotstar mobile app had only about 0.04% market share of installs among the top 100 streaming services in the US In the first half of 2021.
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