New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Disney+Hotstar has added 8.3 million subscribers in the company’s third fiscal quarter that ended on July 2, reaching 58.4 mn subscribers in India and Southeast Asia.
The Walt Disney Company also updated subscriber guidance for Disney+ Hotstar, to up to 80 million subscribers by the end of its fiscal 2024.
“We intend to refine this target over time as subscriber visibility in India will be clearer once the ICC and BCCI cricket rights sales processes are completed,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.
“As you may know, we recently made the disciplined decision to not proceed with the Indian Premier League digital rights, and we’ll evaluate these rights with that same discipline,” he said during the company’s earnings call with analysts late on Wednesday.
Disney+Hotstar had 44.9 million paid users in the same period last year in the country.
“We are excited to continue offering IPL to our linear customers in India where growth potential exists for our portfolio of more than 70 channels that reaches 90 per cent of pay cable and satellite TV homes in the region,” said Chapek.
“Pay TV distribution in India continues to be a robust business with projected GDP growth expected to drive advertising and consumer spending,” he added.
Chapek said that India is one of the only markets in which “we are launching new linear channels”.
“Finally, given the results of our recently completed upfront, it is clear that our unmatched portfolio continues to be highly sought after by advertisers,” he informed.
Overall, Disney+ subscriptions went up to 152.1 million for its third fiscal quarter that ended on July 2, and the streaming giant added 14.4 million new subscribers in the April-June period.
The company lowered its 2024 forecast for Disney+ between 215 million-245 million subscribers. It had previously set subscriber guidance at 230 million-260 million by the end of fiscal 2024.
“With 14.4 million Disney+ subscribers added in the fiscalAthird quarter, we now have 221 million total subscriptions across our streaming offerings,” said Chapek.
The company said that international Disney+ subscribers increased by 6 million to reach 49.2 million.
Disney also announced to raise the price of the ad-free Disney+ subscription to $10.99 per month, starting December 8, in the US.
The price change will coincide with the launch of the streaming service’s upcoming ad-supported plan which will be priced at $7.99 per month.