Hotstar offers one of the best video streaming deals anywhere in the world. For ₹999 a year ($14.50), you get access to HBO's original programming — including Game of Thrones — as well as Showtime, Star World, and hundreds of movies. But what sets the service truly apart is its live sports content. The annual plan also includes unlimited access to Premier League football, Formula 1, the Indian Premier League, major golfing events, and so much more.
Hotstar also includes a wealth of regional movies and TV shows, and starting next year it will start offering Disney+ content to Indian customers. Disney's streaming service is set to make its debut in the U.S. in November for $7 a month, which is a pretty decent price for access to its exhaustive movie library and upcoming original programming.
Indian customers, however, will be able to stream Disney+ content directly via Hotstar, and the best part is that the service isn't increasing its prices. The yearly plan will continue to cost ₹999 ($14.50), with monthly plans at ₹299 ($4.30). That makes Hotstar the most affordable option to stream the Disney+ catalog anywhere in the world.
It makes sense for Disney to offer its catalog on Hotstar. After all, Hotstar is a subsidiary of Star India, which is owned by Disney. Instead of launching its own streaming service, Disney is leveraging Hotstar's massive userbase in India — over 300 million monthly active users as of March — to distribute its content. Hotstar will also add subtitles and provide dubbed versions of Disney's movies and TV shows in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
From Disney India's chairman Uday Shankar:
Hunger for content and ability to pay are unlocking growth for consumer payments in video. India has become a magnet for all media and content companies.
I'm thrilled that Disney+ content will be integrated into Hotstar, as it means I don't have to pay for yet another streaming service. The fact that Hotstar isn't raising costs shows just how aggressive it is being in the country, and the wealth of content on offer for just ₹999 a year makes it a no-brainer.