Disney+, with its original catalog, has arrived in India weeks ahead of its scheduled launch date. Disney revamped Hotstar app and populated the on-demand video streaming service, which has amassed over 300 million users, with Disney+ original catalog on Wednesday morning (local time).
The service is currently available at no additional charge to existing Hotstar subscribers — who pay Rs 999 ($14) for a year — though the premium tier carries a new yearly sticker price of Rs 3,588 ($48). (Worth pointing out that earlier the premium tier had a sticker price of about Rs 2,500, though Hotstar has been discounting it at Rs 999.)
The “Disney+ Hotstar” offers more than a dozen original titles from Disney, including “Diary of a Future President,” “Disney Family Sundays,”
“Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings,” “Encore,” “High School Musical,” “The Mandalorian,” and “The World According to Jeff Goldblum.”
A Hotstar spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company will have more to share on Friday.
Some users have pointed out that the in-app player is not able to stream some titles seamlessly. And that the titles are available in full-HD (1080P), instead of their native 4K (UHD) resolution. Hotstar in India has yet to add support for 4K.
The early rollout of Disney+Hotstar comes at a rough time for Disney and Hotstar that have received criticism for censoring John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” show.
The streaming service, which is the exclusive streaming syndicating partner for HBO, Showtime, and ABC in India, blocked a recent episode of “Last Week Tonight” that was critical of India’s ruling party and its leader, Narendra Modi.
Oliver documented these instances and revealed that Hotstar had also edited a few jokes about Disney from some of his recent episodes. The company has yet to comment on the censorship issues.
More to follow…