Local content gets priority as Disney Plus Hotstar confirms Indonesia launch

LOS ANGELES, Aug 11 (Reuters): Local Indonesian content will sit alongside Bollywood titles, the Marvel universe, and the "Star Wars" franchise, as the Walt Disney Company launches the Disney Plus Hotstar version of its streaming platform in South-East Asia's most populous nation.

The company confirmed that the service will launch from Sept 5 following a deal with local carrier Telekomsel.

The company has signed multi-year content supply agreements with leading Indonesian studios, including: Falcon, Frontera Inter Media, Kharisma Starvision Plus, MD Pictures, Rapi Film, Screenplay Bumilangit Produksi and Tiga Belas Entertainment.

Together the deals span 300 local titles including Falcon's successful Warkop DKI Reborn franchise; 13 Entertainment-distributed Rainbow Tropps (aka "Laskar Pelangi"); MD Pictures "Ayat-Ayat Cinta"; Rapi Films' "Pengabdi Setan" and "Hangout"; and Screenplay's "Gundala" (available from February 2021).

Disney Plus Hotstar will also encourage local producers to move some of their theatrical titles direct to streaming. Shortly after launch, the service will carry seven anticipated Indonesian films: MD Pictures' "Sabar Ini Ujian," "Pelukis Hantu" and "Bidadari Mencari Sayap"; and Falcon's "Rentang Kisah" and "Malik & Elsa." From 15 Sept., it will add Falcon's "Warkop DKI Reborn 4" and "Benyamin Biang Kerok 2."

Indonesia boasts a significant Hindu minority, which will be served with a prominent selection of Bollywood content.

Some 23 titles from the UTV library will be available at launch. These include: "Jodhaa Akbar," and "Barfi!"; drama series "Yehh Jadu Hai Jinn Ka!" and "Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke"; and celebrity talkshow "Koffee with Karan." All Indian content will either be subtitled or dubbed in Bahasa Indonesia.

The mainstay Disney content includes 500 films and specials, and 7,000 episodes of content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. There will also be short-form content made exclusively for the service.

As other streaming services have discovered, the Indonesian mass market is both price sensitive and dependent on cellular companies for billing solutions. Pricing was not disclosed, but Disney said that Telkomsel "will offer a range of very attractive and affordable promotions and subscription packages to the Indonesian customers."

This will include and extra Internet quota for pre-order subscribers.

"By working closely with Telkomsel, Disney Plus Hotstar, with its unparalleled mix of high-quality local and global stories, delivered through world-class technology, will enthrall viewers in Indonesia," said Uday Shankar, president, The Walt Disney Company APAC.

"Telkomsel is transforming from a mobile operator into a digital telco company. One of the main pillars of our objective is to make Telkomsel 'The Home of Entertainment' for all of Indonesia," said Setyanto Hantoro, president director of Telkomsel.

"We continue to accelerate the development of an inclusive and sustainable digital ecosystem supported by Telkomsel's leading broadband network throughout the country." - Reuters
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