The party for all Disney+ Hotstar users has finally come to an end. The existing jaw-dropping subscription charges of Disney+ Hotstar, which made the company acquire users at an impressive rate, are set to shoot up.
The OTT platform which currently offers two subscription plans in India is reportedly planning to adopt the price pattern similar to Netflix, albeit at a much cheaper rate.
The new Disney+ Hotstar plan starts from Rs 499, and goes as high as Rs 1,499 per year. The company, which has been taking a huge hit on its revenue book due to its below-market-standard pricing strategy, is apparently looking to do away from losses occurring from India operations by increasing the annual subscription charges for users.
Disney+ HotStar Subscription Plans: Big Picture
- Disney+ Hotstar currently has content-type tiers for users. It charges Rs 399 annually for Indian content. The content under this plan is available in HD quality, Dolby 5.1 audio and can be streamed on a single screen.
- The other current plan, called Disney+ Hotstar Premium, is available at annual subscription charges of Rs 1,499. It allows users to access the complete library that can be streamed in 4K quality and on two screens.
- There is another Rs 299 monthly subscription as well which is largely being used by users only for a trial purpose.
All of the above plans are set to go away!
- Under the new subscription plan, Disney+ Hotstar will charge Rs 499 annually from users to have access to the complete library. However, viewers would be restricted to stream the content on mobile devices, similar to the Netflix Mobile plan.
- The new Rs 899 Super Plan will offer all the benefits of Rs 499 plan but users would be able to access content on TV. Subscribers would be able to view all content in HD quality and on 2 screens simultaneously.
- The third plan at Rs 1,499 is identical to the current Premium plan.
- The new subscription plans of Disney+ Hotstar don’t restrict users based on region, and all subscribers, irrespective of what plan they choose, will have access to the complete library the OTT major has.
- Disney+ Hostar reportedly had 103.6 million paid streaming subscribers by the end of Q1 2021. The company added 8.7 million new subscribers in Q1 2021.
- Despite adding a record number of paid subscribers the revenue of Disney fell 13% to $15.61 billion in the second quarter ended April 3, 2021. The company is yet to release the third quarter of ongoing financial year performance.
Disney+ Hotstar: Food For Thought
After the skyrocketing growth during the pandemic, the adoption rate of all the OTT platforms is slowing down. With the new subscription plan, Disney+ Hotstar is trying to meet the expectations of analysts by improving the ARPU which is way lower than Netflix and HBO. The current ARPU of Disney+ (including India’s Hotstar) is $3.99, whereas Netflix’s ARPU is hovering at $11.53.
While Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer – Disney, has kept claiming that lower ARPU is not a concern for the company, the new plans clearly indicate otherwise, especially the number of paid subscribers is comparatively much lower than its arch-rival Netflix and HBO.
India market is driven by price sensitivity. Therefore, it would be interesting to see how many existing subscribers renew their annual subscription of Disney+ Hotsar by paying more than doubled the amount.