Hotstar.Com Tv/Activate: History, Content, Availability And More!

For those unfamiliar, Disney+ Hotstar is an Indian subscription video-on-demand over-the-top streaming service run by Novi Digital Entertainment of Disney Star and owned by The Walt Disney Company’s Novi Media and Entertainment Distribution.

For the first time, the brand was relaunched as Hotstar, a streaming service that featured material from Disney Star’s local networks, as well as content licensed from third parties, such as HBO and Showtime. Hotstar immediately rose to the top of the streaming services in India, thanks to the rapid expansion of mobile broadband.

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Hotstar was renamed Disney+ Hotstar in April 2020 when Disney acquired the parent company of Star India, 21st Century Fox, in 2019 and incorporated it into their new worldwide streaming brand. With the co-branded service, Disney+ original programming was added, as well as films and television programs from the primary content brands of Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and National Geographic.service is available in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, where it offers a similar mix of local and third-party studio material, as well as Disney+’s extensive library. In late 2022, Disney+ Hotstar will also be available in Vietnam.

Hotstar.Com Tv/Activate: History, Content, Availability And More!
Hotstar.Com Tv/Activate: History, Content, Availability And More!

As a streaming service aimed at Indian expatriates, Hotstar features Disney Star’s domestic entertainment and sports content, while Disney+ is available as a stand-alone service in these countries. In 2021, Disney announced that it would cease the U.S. edition of Hotstar in November 2021, in favor of bringing its content to the domestic Hulu and ESPN+ platforms instead.

History

During the course of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Hotstar received at least 345 million views, while during the course of the 2015 Indian Premier League season, Hotstar received approximately more than 200 million views.  A membership tier that is focused mostly on international content and the prospect of premium sports content was introduced by Hotstar in April of 2016.

The launch of the service coincided with the premiere of the sixth season of Game of Thrones, and it was accompanied by a new agreement that allows the platform to carry unedited versions of HBO’s original programming. It is generally agreed that the debut of the LTE-only wireless carrier Jio in 2016 was a major contributor to the expansion of mobile broadband in India, which in turn is credited with having contributed to the expansion of online video streaming in the country.

Even though streaming services with their roots in the United States, including Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, have seen some expansion in the Indian market, Hotstar continues to be the most popular option. By July of 2017, the total number of downloads of Hotstar’s apps had reached 300 million, and the company’s app was ranked as the most popular video streaming app in the country.

Content

Showtime granted Hotstar the rights to stream its first-run and library content in the domestic market beginning in July of 2017.  After then, the rights to new Showtime content were transferred to Voot, which is owned by Viacom18 (a sister of Showtime via parent company Paramount Global).

Hotstar entered into a partnership with Hooq in October 2018 in order to provide its content on Hooq’s premium service. This content includes the rights to films and series produced by Hotstar’s co-owners, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros., in addition to the content produced by Hotstar’s other content partners.  The dissolution of the partnership occurred in April of 2020, following the liquidation of Hooq.

CinePlay and the news comedy program “On Air With AIB” were examples of some of the earliest original content available on the site. The service introduced a new premium original content brand in March 2019 called Hotstar Specials. The first production under this brand was called “Roar of the Lion,” and it was a documentary drama miniseries that chronicled the Chennai Super King’s participation in the 2018 Indian Premier League.

Hotstar has indicated that each of these series will consist of at least six episodes, and  will be available in seven different regional languages (Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu), and will place an emphasis on creating “big-scale, high-quality drama.” In order to generate an original program for their platform, Hotstar collaborated with a significant number of India’s most acclaimed directors.

Availability

Indian Premier League media rights were sold to Star Sports on September 4, 2017, with Hotstar being the international digital rightsholder for the Indian Premier League. An international subscription service for Hotstar’s domestic entertainment and sports was launched in Canada and the United States this year. On the same day as the 2018 Asia Cup, Hotstar went live in the United Kingdom.

After StarPlus was shuttered on January 4, 2019, the company shifted its attention in the US to Hotstar, a streaming video service. According to Disney’s announcement on August 31, 2021, the company will cease offering Hotstar to US customers on September 1, 2021, in favor of distributing its sports and entertainment content through ESPN+ and Hulu. Disney+/ESPN+/Hulu bundle subscriptions were offered to annual Hotstar users who had not yet enrolled in Disney’s streaming services at no additional cost. Later, the 30th of November, 2021, was set as the date for the shutdown.

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