Disney+ Hotstar makes up 30% of the streaming service’s 94.9 mn global user base

Disney+ Hotstar makes up 30% of the streaming service’s 94.9 mn global user base
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
12 Feb, 2021

A year after its launch, Disney+, the streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, saw its global user base grow to 94.9 million subscribers, according to its earnings report for financial year (FY) 2020. A year ago, about 26.5 million had subscribed to the platform. 

Of these, Disney+ Hotstar subscribers made up nearly 30%, accounting for nearly 28.5 million paying subscribers. 

However, the average monthly revenue paid by a subscriber for Disney+ dropped by 28%, year-on-year due to the launch of Disney+ Hotstar in the India market on April 3, 2020 and the Indonesia market on September 5, 2020. 

The company said that the average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney+ Hotstar is significantly lower than that of a Disney+ subscriber in other markets. The numbers also exclude Premier Access revenue numbers. 

The monthly subscription for Disney+ Hotstar is priced at Rs 299 in India, apart from a Rs 399 per year VIP plan and Rs 1,499 annual plan. The annual plan for Disney+ in the US market costs $69.99 while the monthly plan is priced at $6.99. 

The company reported a 22% dip in its overall business revenues to $16.2 billion, year-on-year. 

Its revenue from direct-to-consumer business, however, grew 73% year-on-year to $3.5 billion for the quarter ending January 2, 2021, compensating for the loss of business from parks, experience and products segment of the business. 

The company also saw an increase in international channels advertising during the quarter due to an increase in viewership based on the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches which were held during the period.   

Talking about the increase in viewership during IPL, Walt Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said during the earnings call, “So we did see a bump up when the IPL season started. But we've also made it economical for a consumer to sign up for a one-year subscription versus going month-to-month. So those are some of the things that we're looking at and utilizing to mitigate the churn that one could expect from IPL, but it's a more diversified offering in terms of programming than just cricket.”

Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited, the Indian entity that owns and operates Disney+ Hotstar, saw a 43% year-on-year increase in turnover for the financial year 2019-20 at Rs 1,593.02 crore ($219.37 million). The company narrowed its net loss to Rs 361.89 crore ($49.8 million) for the financial year, as compared to Rs 554.38 crore ($76.34 million) in the year ago period of 2018-19. 

In its regulatory filings, Novi Digital Entertainment claimed that Disney+ Hotstar has been downloaded by 400 million people and has a monthly active user (MAU) base of 300 million.