Star India, now owned by Disney, has announced that the upgrade of its Hotstar platform to Disney+ Hotstar is set to take place this week on April 3rd. The new Disney+Hotstar platform will feature a new user interface and give users access to Disney’s extensive library of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content. This will be in addition to Hotstar’s existing library of Bollywood films and original series.
The new platform will be available at three price points:
Disney+ Hotstar VIP will be priced at Rs 399 a year and gives users access to Disney’s bank of movies such as the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney original films such as The Lion King, Frozen II, Aladdin and Toy Story 4. This would be in addition to Hotstar’s current premium content bank of films and originals such as Neeraj Pandey’s Special Ops, Out of Love, Criminal Justice and Live sports.
Disney+ Hotstar Premium will be priced at Rs 1499 a year and gives subscribers access to all Disney+Hotstar VIP content plus the 29 Disney+ Originals such as Star War spin-off series The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and the live-action Lady and the Tramp film, as well as the latest American shows from studios like HBO, Fox and Showtime. Subscribers will also be able to downloads the platform’s movies and shows.
This marks an increase in Hotstar’s prices which were pegged at Rs 999 a year or Rs 299 a month till now, for its premium content. The new Disney+Hotstar platform will also continue to offer Hotstar’s current range of free content such as daily catch-up TV and limited bank of Bollywood movies like Housefull 4, Chhichhore and Badhaai Ho. As to whether Disney+Hotstar will be producing original programming for India is unclear at this point.
The platform was officially supposed to be launching in India on March 29th before it was delayed, presumably in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month on March 11th a number of Hotstar users found themselves having access to the new interface as well as all of the Disney+ content. The change for those users was rolled back within 24 hours with Hotstar confirming at the time that it is currently beta testing the new Disney+Hotstar app with select users.
Disney+ has been available in the US for some time now, having released its first wave of originals with many more in the pipeline. Among them is the highly anticipated string of shows from the Marvel Cinematic Universe including WandaVision, Falcon And The Winter Soldier and Loki among others.