LOS ANGELES: Disney is to launch the Disney+ Hotstar version of its subscription video platform in Indonesia from September.
The news was revealed Aug 4 on an earnings conference call by Disney CEO Bob Chapek. That was confirmed locally, with Indonesian media sent invitations for an Aug 10 launch event in Jakarta.
"I'm happy to announce that we will also be rolling out Disney+ Hotstar on Sept 5 in Indonesia, one of the world's most populous countries. By year-end, Disney+ will be available in nine of the top 10 economies in the world," said Chapek.
Disney+ Hotstar was created in March when the new launch Disney+ service was grafted on to the existing and wildly successful Hotstar platform in India that Disney acquired when it bought 20th Century Fox in 2019.
Hotstar operated a mixed business model, incorporating free tiers for the mass market and premium levels available to paying subscribers. That model has been retained as the platform was relaunched. Consultancy, Media Partners Asia has forecast that Disney+ Hotstar could become the number two video platform in India by 2025, second only to YouTube.
The Indonesia launch news also came as Disney announced that it would not release tentpole movie Mulan in theatres in those countries where Disney+ is operational. Instead, the controversial and much delayed title, will head straight to streaming and be offered at a premium price in addition to monthly subscription fees.
With cinemas in India closed until at least the end of this month, Disney has announced a direct to consumer policy for several other film titles. It announced in June that the Sushant Singh Rajput-starring Dil Bechara would bypass cinemas and premiere on Disney+ Hotstar instead. – Variety/Reuters
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