Disney+ Hotstar

Disney+ has launched in India, two weeks earlier than scheduled, with the Hotstar app being updated to new branding called, Disney+ Hotstar. We are still awaiting an official announcement, though users have started reporting seeing new content as well as branding across the platform.

You will now see the ‘Disney+’ signage included almost everywhere. Be it the Hotstar app splash screen, the notifications logo or the main app logo itself. A screengrab of how the new splashscreen looks like can be see here.

The Disney+ Hotstar Premium subscription costs Rs 299 per month (around $4) or Rs 999 per year (around $14) while the Disney+ Hotstar VIP plan costs Rs 365 per year ($5).

Interestingly, despite more content coming onboard the erstwhile Hotstar, there hasn’t yet been a change to premium subscription plans, with both the Hotstar Premium and Hotstar VIP subscriptions still available. However, don’t be too surprised to see a price increase soon since this could well be more of an introductory pricing, similar to how Netflix and Amazon Prime did this during their respective launches.

What we are seeing at this time in the Disney+ Hotstar app is that some of the new Disney+ content is labelled as Premium while some of the movies and shows are labeled as VIP, in a way that content is spread across both subscription tiers.

All of the new content is available in four languages: English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, but you need to have the Premium account to get access to content in English. Some of the Disney+ Originals are only available to Premium account holders.

The new logo takes a more minimalistic route, and tends to be the biggest indicator of Hotstar slowly merging into Disney+, with the latter living in the country vicariously through its subsidiary. Upon inspection, one cannot miss the stark similarities between the new Hotstar and Disney+.

The company had already announced that it would be revamping the UI of the current Hotstar app to bring it closer to Disney+, thus bridging the gap between the two apps. A logo change(and the new splash screen) that comes with this update is Disney’s initiative to rebrand Hotstar into the Indian version of Disney+.

Hotstar will still retain its old content, although the future of the HBO content that it on the platform is still shrouded in mystery. However, you don’t need to find a new app for streaming some good old live cricket.

So if like me, you were sad about not being able to stream the Mandalorian back when it launched last year, this news is sure to ring the same tunes in your ears as it does in mine. The platform will enter the country, piggybacking Disney’s existing streaming platform Hotstar, which is going through some major changes for big daddy’s arrival. In its most recent update, Hotstar changed its logo from green and black to blue and white, going for a more simpler design, just like Disney+.

More on this soon, stay tuned.