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Disney+ Hotstar Streaming App Is Now Live In India; All The Details Here

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The Disney+ Hotstar app is now live in India. It was launched on April 3, 2020. Earlier referred to only as Hotstar, the app has now collaborated with Walt Disney’s online video streaming service ‘Disney+’ and has been rebranded to showcase movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and various kids shows apart from the content that was already streaming on the earlier Hotstar app.

Comprising original content like The Lion King, Frozen II, Toy Story 4, and  Aladdin, Disney+ has been allocated a separate tab in the bottom-center space of the app.

“With the success of Hotstar, we ushered in a new era for premium video streaming in 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,” said Disney APAC president and Star & Disney India chairman, Uday Shankar in a statement.

Disney acquired Hotstar last year when it made the $71 billion purchase of Twenty-First Century Fox (Hotstar’s parent company). This paved way for Disney’s video streaming service to enter the Indian market. Hotstar reportedly had 300 million monthly active users in 2019. Most of whom were using the service for free (supported by ads). Disney is looking at the prospect of converting these users into subscribers.

Earlier the app was to go live on March 29 along with the commencement of the Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL) that has now been postponed owing to the Coronavirus pandemic in India. The developers had planned for a live game – ‘Watch ‘N Play’ while the matches were on, wherein viewers would be asked questions testing their cricketing knowledge and skills. If answered correctly, the viewers would earn points and could avail offers and prizes. Viewers could also invite friends to participate.

They have also added a feature named Social Feed which enables participants to share social posts (their views, comments, and pictures) with other participants.

“A limited release of the beta version of the Disney+ Hotstar app is currently being tested with a small number of consumers, in preparation for the full-fledged app launch,” a Hotstar spokesperson said in a statement in March. The beta test went live on March 11 for many users. Hotstar’s app and logo had quietly upgraded from the yellow-green star to just the name font against a blue backdrop without the ‘Disney+’ way ahead of the launch. Later, both services were updated briefly during the beta test.

On April 2, the new Disney+ Original The Mandalorian and movie The Lion King were streamed live and gave viewers the opportunity to chat with actors Hrithik Roshan, Kriti Sanon, Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Tiger Shroff, Dulquer Salmaan, and Sonam Kapoor who were also present in the live streaming. The actors extended their support by joining in for the ‘Disney+ Hotstar Red Carpet Premiere’, as it was called, from their homes.

All of Disney+ content is paid and will be available only to VIP and Premium subscribers. The Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscription now costs Rs. 399 per year, increasing from an earlier Rs. 365 per year. The flagship Disney+ Hotstar Premium subscription now costs Rs. 1,499 per year, increasing from an earlier Rs. 999 per year.

The Disney+ Hotstar app is now available across platforms including Android, iOS, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, and the web browser.

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