Disney+Hotstar has over 8.5 million paying subscribers in India, based on the figures revealed by the company in its earnings call on Wednesday. In April, Disney had announced that Disney+Hotstar had 8 million paid subscribers. At the end of the quarter, it said it had 57.5 million subscribers at the end of the quarter ending June, 15% of which were from Disney+ Hotstar. This would mean that at least 6.25 lakh subscribers were added. This number is expected to be higher, as at the end of August, Disney+ said it was 60.5 million paying subscribers.
It also spoke about its average revenue per user (ARPU), and said that while it was $4.62 for Disney+, but excluding India, it was $5.31. This would translate to an average of Rs 53 per user in revenue in India.
Disney spoke about Star, its wholly owned subsidiary. It said that the higher results at Star reflect low programming costs, which was offset by ad revenue.
â€śBoth of these drivers reflect the absence of cricket in the third quarter including a shift in rights costs for the Indian Premier League which we expect to be recognized in future quarters and the absence of costs for the quadrennial ICC World Cup which aired in the prior-year quarter,â€ť Chief Financial Officer Christine M Mccarthy said.
Disney+Hotstar is one of the cheapest priced models for the company, with Hotstar even coming up with lower rung tiers. ARPU may increase as it recently hiked prices. Disney+ Hotstar VIP was hiked to Rs 399 per year, and Disney+ Hotstar Premium was increased to Rs 1,499 per year from Rs 999 per year.
Disney also announced that it is launching a direct-to-consumer general entertainment offering under Star in 2021. This offering, they said, will be content they own from various companies and not licensed content, and in some markets, it said it will be distributed under the Star brand.
â€śIn many markets, the offering will be fully integrated into our established Disney+ platform from both a marketing and a technology perspective, and it will be distributed under the Star brand, which has been successfully utilized by the company for other general entertainment platform launches, particularly with Disney+ Hotstar in India,â€ť CEO Bob Chapek said.