Disney+ Hotstar now has over 18.5 million paid subscribers, taking the global subscriber base of Disney+ up to 73.7 million. Disney’s senior executive vice president and chief financial officer Christine McCarthy revealed those numbers during the entertainment giant’s quarterly earnings call on Thursday. Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar added over 16 million subscribers this past quarter — that’s July through September — with the latter helping the most, thanks to the recently-concluded 2020 IPL season. Given IPL is available with the annual-only Disney+ Hotstar VIP plan, you can expect these subscribers to stay for at least a year now.
Speaking to analysts, McCarthy said: “Disney+ ended Q4 with 73.7 million paid subscribers or an increase of over 16 million subscribers versus Q3. Disney+ Hotstar subscriber additions were the largest contributor to this increase, driven by the start of the delayed IPL season. Disney+ Hotstar subscribers now account for a little over a quarter of our global subscriber base. Disney+’s overall ARPU [average revenue per user] this quarter was $4.52 (about Rs. 337). However, excluding Disney+ Hotstar, it was $5.30 (about Rs. 395).”
Back in April, Disney provided the first official numbers for its Hotstar streaming service, noting that it had 8 million paid subscribers. The new numbers mean Disney+ Hotstar has effectively more than doubled its paid subscriber base. And these numbers may not fully account for the growth spurt provided by the Indian Premier League (IPL) — the annual Twenty20 cricket tournament — for Disney’s quarter ended on October 3. IPL’s 2020 season wrapped up on November 11.
Disney+ Hotstar is available in India and Indonesia, and as just Hotstar in Singapore, where it launched at the start of November and where Disney plans to launch Disney+ separately.
There’s no clarity on the number of paid subscribers for Disney+ Hotstar’s biggest competition: Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. A report by Media Partners Asia claims Netflix will end 2020 with 4.6 million paid subscribers in India, while Amazon Prime had 4.4 million paid members in India, per last available estimates by IHS Markit.