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Hotstar largest contributor to Disney+’s Q4 subscriber growth, has about 18.5M paid members

Disney+ Hotstar subscribers accounted for a little over a quarter of Disney+’s 73.7 million subscriber base for the quarter ended September, chief financial officer Christine McCarthy said during the company’s earnings conference call on Friday.

This means that Disney+ Hotstar had about 18.5 million subscribers for the quarter, with most of it coming from India. The service forayed into Indonesia in early September and Singapore earlier this month.

McCarthy said Disney+ Hotstar subscriber additions were the largest contributor to the growth of Disney+ that saw an increase of over 16 million global subscribers, but didn’t disclose any specific information. The service has likely added nearly 10 million subscribers during the quarter, since it had about 8.63 million subscribers for the quarter ended June 2020.

The Disney-owned streaming service benefited from the start of the delayed IPL season that concluded earlier this week. Several prominent theatrical movies also went directly to the platform during the quarter, as a result of Covid-19-induced lockdown that had shut theatres in the country for several months.

Hotstar ARPU: Disney+’s overall average revenue per user (ARPU) was at $4.52 for the quarter. However, excluding Disney+ Hotstar, it was $5.30, McCarthy said during the call. This indicates that Disney+ Hotstar makes about $2.19 (about Rs 163.5 at the current exchange rates) from each subscriber in India every quarter, a significant jump from an ARPU of $0.71 in the previous quarter.

It’s worth noting that the service recently undertook a price hike in India when Disney+ launched through Hotstar in the country. The cost of entry-level plan ‘Disney+ Hotstar VIP’ was hiked to Rs 399 per year, while for ‘Disney+ Hotstar Premium’ it was increased to Rs 1,499 per year from Rs 999 per year.

In India, Disney+ Hotstar competes with players like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Essel Group’s Zee5, Times Internet’s* MX Player, Viacom18’s Voot, and Reliance-backed ALT Balaji among others. TechFinGuy

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