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Disney (DIS) Rolls Out Disney+ Content on Hotstar In India

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Disney’s (DIS - Free Report) streaming service, Disney+ arrived in India about 18 days earlier under the rebranded Hotstar name, Disney+ Hotstar on Mar 11. The newly branded service is now available on both Android and iOS, per a Techcrunch report.

Notably, the availability of Disney+ content on Hotstar is part of a beta trial with limited number of users, ahead of the official Disney+ India launch on Hotstar scheduled for Mar 29, per a Financial Express report.

The pricing of Disney+ HotStar is INR 999 a year and INR 299 a month with the entire library of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star War and National Geographic content, along with Disney+ originals such as The Mandalorian and Hotstar’s local original series such as Hostages Season 2 and Special Ops available to consumers in India on a single platform.

Disney+ Hotstar Content Strength: A Key Differentiator for Disney

Disney+ Hotstar original content slate includes Diary of a Future President: Season 1, Disney Family Sundays: Season 1, Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings: Season 2, Marvel's Hero Project: Season 1, Pixar in Real Life: Season 1 and Shop Class: Season 1among others.

Most of the new content is available in four languages namely, English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. VIP users get unlimited access but need Premium for English language.

The Walt Disney Company Price and Consensus

The Walt Disney Company Price and Consensus

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Additionally, the Hotstar application will now stream Disney originals like, The Mandalorian, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, documentary One Day at Disney and High School Musical: The Musical – The Series.

Moreover, the new branding — Disney+ Hotstar comes alongside the arrival of content from Disney's back catalogue, including movies such as Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Cars 3, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and A Bug's Life, Timon & Pumbaa, Disney The Lion Guard, Mickey Mouse (Shorts), Doc McStuffins, Tangled: The Series, Aaron Stone, Jungle Junction and Sofia The First.

Local Content Push by Other Streaming Providers

India’s rapidly-expanding video streaming user base presents strong opportunities for global video streaming service providers including Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) , Apple (AAPL - Free Report) , Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , Disney, as well as local players including Zee5, Alt Balaji, Voot and MX Player among others.

Rising competition is expected to push investments in original content to $1.4 billion by 2024, at a 13% CAGR from 2019, per a Business Standard report.

Notably, Hotstar has set aside INR 120 crore to make seven original shows in different local languages in India, while Zee5 intends to release 72 new originals in six languages in 2020, per a KPMG report.

Zee5’s original series A State Of Siege 26/11 is set to release soon. The company has begun offering some region-specific packages at INR 49 a month or INR 499 a year to attract more viewers. This compares with standard packages at INR 99 a month or INR 999 a year.

Reportedly, Netflix will spend $420 million this year and next on producing original content for the audience in India while the entry of Apple TV+ at INR 99 per month in 2020 is set to intensify pricing war.

Ghost Stories, which is a sequel to last year’s Lust Stories, Tribhanga, Freedom, Class of ’83 produced by Red Chillies, Bulbul produced by Anushka Sharma and The White Tiger starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Rajkummar Rao are a few of the shows to be showcased on Netflix India in 2020.

Meanwhile, Netflix continues to be more expensive than other streaming providers in India. The company’s monthly subscriptions start at INR 500, with higher priced plans of INR 650 and INR 800 that allow multiple users and simultaneous viewing, respectively.

Moreover, Amazon Prime’s slate of local content including The Forgotten Army, Breathe 2, Bandish Bandits, Mirzapur Season 2 and Made in Heaven 2 among others is expected to intensify competition for Netflix and Disney in 2020.

Amazon Prime is currently available in India at a monthly plan of INR 129 and an annual membership of INR 999 that includes mobile access.

Further, Alt Balaji’s lineup for 2020 includes Code M, Mentalhood, It Happened in Calcutta, Dil Hi Toh Hai Season 3 and Class of 2020.

Disney currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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