Hotstar, the video streaming service owned by the Star network has been rebranded to Disney+ Hotstar ahead of the Disney+ launch in India on 29 March, right before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year. The erstwhile black and yellow logo of Hotstar has been replaced by a royal blue and white design for Disney+ Hotstar.
Walt Disney had acquired Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. in a $71 billion cash and stock deal in June 2018. That makes Star India, Fox Star Studios and Hotstar in India, a part of Walt Disney. Though there have been no official announcements yet, there is some speculation on whether Star will ultimately go ahead with the IPL given the ongoing threat of corona virus.
Mint had earlier reported that Hotstar plans to localise Disney+ movies and shows by dubbing or adding subtitles in Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Hotstar’s own original content titled Hotstar Specials are currently available in seven Indian languages.
Disney+ debuted in the United States last November with content bundled from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. According to media reports, it registered more than 10 million sign-ups in a little more than a day and 28.6 million subscribers in less than three months. Priced at $6.99 per month and $69.99 per year, the service offers original shows like space western The Mandalorian that is set in the Star Wars universe, documentary series The World According to Jeff Goldblum, mockumentary High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, besides movies like Lady and the Tramp, Noelle, Purl, Float and Kitbull. Classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Miracle on 34th Street, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Recess and the X-Men animated series are also available on the platform.
Disney+ is said to be the company’s big bet on video streaming and an answer to content platforms like Netflix, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock, the over-the-top (OTT) subscription service owned by NBC Universal.
“The logo removes the Star sign and comes in with an attractive blue colour design to signify that Disney is the parent company. Further, we believe there will be multiple changes in the user experience and overall positioning of the app with time which will definitely augur well in the longer term,” Karan Taurani, research analyst at Elara Capital Ltd said.