Users in India won’t have to wait long for the delayed launch of Disney+. The service will now roll out this Friday, April 3, less than a week after the original proposed date.
The Disney streamer was supposed to arrive March 29, but as we reported last week, the launch was postponed due to the widespread disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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From Friday, India’s biggest streaming service Hotstar, which was acquired by Disney when it bought Fox’s entertainment assets, will now be rebranded to Disney+ Hotstar. The previously Fox-owned service already hosts international shows as well as regional programming and, crucially for the Indian market, the cricket. As we reported last year, the app has been downloaded more than 400 million times in the country.
The new iteration will feature Disney+ content including originals such as The Mandalorian, and movies including the Marvel films and Pixar’s catalogue, across different subscription tiers. There will be three pricing options: Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium and an ad-supported basic tier will be available.
Hotstar VIP, priced at INR 399 ($5.30) per year will include the Marvel movies, animated films such as Frozen II and Toy Story 4, and Bollywood films like Panga and Tanhaji. It will also feature language options including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
The Hotstar Premium price point, INR 1499 ($19.90) per year, will unlock Disney originals including The Mandalorian and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, as well as further U.S. shows from HBO, Fox and Showtime.
“With the success of Hotstar, we ushered in a new era for premium video streaming in India,” said Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney India.
“Today, as we unveil Disney+ Hotstar, we take yet another momentous step in staying committed to our promise of delivering high-quality impactful stories for India that have not only entertained but also made a difference in people’s lives, a promise that is even more meaningful in challenging times such as this. We hope the power of Disney’s storytelling, delivered through Hotstar’s technology, will help our viewers find moments of comfort, happiness and inspiration during these difficult times,” he added.
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