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With 26 mn users, India key contributor to Disney+ global subscriber base

With 26 mn users, India key contributor to Disney+ global subscriber base
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Disney+Hotstar, the Indian arm of Burbank, California based Disney+, accounts for 26 million or 30% of the OTT platform’s 86.8 million global subscriber base, the company’s chairman of international operations, Rebecca Campbell revealed during its annual investor day presentation on Thursday.  

The number is up from close to 18.5 million subscribers for the quarter ending September, according to the OTT player’s financial reports. The company also announced last month that the quarterly average revenue per user was around $2.19 (around Rs 160) in India. 

Hotstar rebranded itself as Disney+Hotstar in India in April this year. 

The platform added close to 7.5 million paid members in the October-November period. The growth has been attributed to the recently concluded IPL as well as its local content. The company offers a Rs 299 per month or Rs 1499 per year premium membership.

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“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,” Campbell said during the presentation.

As for the plans to scale up, Disney will be following a two tier approach (Star and Star+) -- similar to the one it deploys in India, in other South Asian countries.

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India is set to become the sixth largest OTT market by 2024, led by a 10.1% compound annual growth rate in the media and entertainment sector for the period between 2019-2024, according to an October 2020 report by tax services and advisory firm PwC India .

Disney+ Hotstar’s major competitors in India include Netflix, Amazon Prime and SonyLiv.

In June 2019, Walt Disney acquired 21st Century Fox inc, which owned Star network in India, in a $71 billion cash and stock deal.