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Disney+ Hotstar India: Price, release date and content

How Disney’s streaming service works and everything you can watch using it

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Disney+ Hotstar India key details

      • Disney+ Hotstar launched in India on 3 April 2020
      • It costs ₹299/month or ₹1,499/year to access via Disney+ Hotstar Premium
      • There’s also an ad-supported version with a Disney+ Hotstar VIP membership costing ₹399/year
      • All-new exclusive shows will appear on the service
      • Some legacy content from Disney brands may not be available, due to ongoing deals with existing streaming providers
Disney+ is a streaming service operated by entertainment giant Disney. Consider it the Mouse House’s response to platforms like Netflix and Apple TV+. The online service gives users access to a generous library of TV shows and movies from the Disney catalogue, as well as titles from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and National Geographic.

Disney+ launched into some markets in November 2019, before continuing its global expansion in 2020. Highlights include original show The Mandalorian and long-running series The Simpsons, as well as The Lion King, Frozen 2 and Aladdin.

Disney announced plans for its own streaming service Disney+ back in 2017. It joins an increasingly crowded marketplace, dominated by Netflix globally but with plenty of other newer competitors, including Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+.

Disney+ Hotstar price

In India Disney+ is available at a few different price points. The top package is the Disney+ Hotstar Premium which is ₹299/month or annually for a discount at ₹1,499. This membership level guarantees you access to all Hotstar premium titles such as shows from HBO, Disney+ content and unlimited live sports including cricket, tennis and kabaddi.

Otherwise there’s a cheaper option to get access to limited Disney content through the VIP subscription which is ₹399 annually. However, it’s worth noting that at this membership level Disney+ is supported by personalised advertisements.

What shows and original productions will Disney+ Hotstar have?

Disney is investing heavily in original content for Disney+. This echoes what competitors like Netflix and Amazon are already doing. To begin, the company will rely on established brands such as Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic and Marvel instead of exploring new avenues, but its focus might change as time goes by.

In addition to this, Disney+ Hotstar will also have local Hindi content. In total, Disney+ Hotstar claims to have over 100,000 hours of TV shows and movies in 9 different languages, as well as sport which includes cricket.

Disney+ TV shows

On the TV front, Disney+ offers hours of Disney Channel programming, but also original productions made especially for the streaming service. The list features Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian, which became an international hit shortly after its release. Season 2 of the sci-fi western will reportedly become available in October 2020.

Other original Disney+ TV shows include High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and Diary of a Future President. Subscribers can binge-watch 29 seasons of popular animated series The Simpsons. For lovers of everything Disney, there are docu-series available as well, like The Imagineering Story.

Disney+ movies

On the movie front, Disney+ is becoming the exclusive streaming destination for all titles under the Disney umbrella. Avengers: Endgame, for instance, was available at launch. Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker received a special release date on Star Wars Day 4 May 2020.

Besides, the catalogue includes hundreds of animated titles from the Disney Vault, as well as Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar films. Users can also watch Disney+ original movies like Noelle and Togo.

Disney+ upcoming content

Disney+ has plenty of content currently in production. One of the most highly anticipated series slated to debut on the platform is a Star Wars spin-off led by the roguish spy Cassian Andor, a conflicted rebel who fights ruthlessly for the greater good.

Additionally, the Marvel universe is expanding, with several TV shows set in the universe slated for Disney+. The first will be The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, rumoured to premiere in August 2020. This will be followed by WandaVision in December and Loki in 2021.

Other highlights to look out for include an untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series and animation Monsters at Work. Subscribers should also get excited for more Marvel TV series, most notably Hawkeye, What If…, Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk.

Movies set to debut on Disney+ in 2020, includes Hamilton, Magic Camp and Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe later in 2020.

Disney+ Hotstar India sign-up

The easiest way to create a Disney+ account is via the official website. To sign up to Disney+, all you’ll require is an email address plus your debit or credit card. Register for an account, drop in your card details and you’ll be good to start watching. Unfortunately as of June 2020 Disney+ no longer comes with a free trial, so your only option is to sign up.

How to watch Disney+ Hotstar

Disney+ can be viewed in a number of ways. You can watch on your laptop/PC by accessing the website or downloading the app on iOS and Android devices. There is also an app for PS4 and Xbox One game consoles. On the big screen, you can use Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick or Android TV for streaming to another device. Some Samsung and LG TVs also have built-in Disney+ support.

You can stream on up to four devices at once. Unlike Netflix, Disney+ isn’t charging extra for the ability to watch on multiple screens.

Why is Disney+ such a big deal?

It seems like everyone is launching a streaming platform these days, so why is Disney so special? First off, this new platform is now the exclusive home for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar. That includes titles like Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2.

The service features a vast collection of library content, including Disney and Pixar movies and Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD television programming.

But more importantly, Disney’s streaming service hosts content from Disney’s subsidiaries Marvel, Lucasfilm and National Geographic. This means that the platform will also host all the Marvel and Stars Wars movies released so far, as well as all upcoming titles. These are some of the biggest film franchises in the world, so it’s obvious that the Force will be strong with this new streaming service.

Disney+ features

The platform’s entire content library is available to be downloaded for offline viewing. After originally launching without a resume or continue watching option, Disney quickly moved to correct the fault.

There are also your standard features such as Kids Mode and multiple profiles. Possibly the most interesting aspect is the ability to request shows and movies yourself to be added to the library.

Our verdict on Disney+ Hotstar

So far, people worldwide have gone nuts for Disney+ with over 50 million subscribers. What it’s lacking in content to begin with it’s making up for in quality, with new production The Mandalorian outranking Netflix’s Stranger Things already. If you were to subscribe to the premium membership you’d have access to unlimited live sports, Indian movies and more.

Add in the fact that Disney+ will only improve as more originals and big 2020 releases make it to the platform and it’d be a hard decision not to try it out. While it’s disappointing that there’s no longer a free trial period, you could pick worse options to try for a month.

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