Future of Hotstar in India After the Termination of HBO Collaboration
Future of Hotstar in India After the Termination of HBO Collaboration: Hotstar has been one of India’s leading streaming platforms and has been a go-to destination for millions of Indians to catch up on their favorite shows and movies. Over the years, Hotstar has collaborated with several content providers, including HBO, to offer a diverse range of content to its viewers. However, the recent termination of its collaboration with HBO has left many wondering about the future of Hotstar in India. As the streaming wars intensify in India, it is an interesting time to explore what the future holds for Hotstar and its millions of users. Will it be able to sustain its dominance in the market? Or will it struggle to retain its user base in the absence of premium content from HBO?
Now No HBO Content Will be Available on Disney+ Hotstar
We’ve all likely come across shows like Game of Thrones, Succession, and The Last of Us at some point in our lives. Thanks to the massive success of OTT platforms, such acclaimed shows have become easily accessible to us. However, the convenience of watching such shows may not always be guaranteed. In an unfortunate turn of events, Disney+ Hotstar, India’s leading streaming platform, will no longer feature HBO shows for its Indian audience starting from April 1st. This move is a result of the renewal deal between HBO and Disney+ Hotstar, leading to the removal of all HBO content from the platform for Indian viewers. Let’s take a closer look at what this means for HBO content in India and which shows will be affected by this decision.
Is Hotstar Losing Its Grip on The Indian Market
Hotstar has been the Home of HBO Content in India since 2015. HBO’s premium content has been one of the go to reasons for many Indians to enroll into the subscription of Disney+ Hotstar in India. However Losing HBO’s premium content isn’t the only thing that is causing problems for the streaming giant.
The streaming giant recently lost the bidding and had to let go the IPL streaming Rights too. IPL is one of the richest and most viewed sports tournaments in the world. The cricket league had been one of the biggest crowd pullers in the country for more than a decade. The fandom has hugely benefited Hotstar and brought millions of paid subscribers on the streaming platform. But after losing the IPL streaming rights it’s speculated that Disney+ Hotstar may lose a huge chunk of its audience.
Where To Watch HBO Content
The recent departure of HBO from Disney+ Hotstar has left many wondering where to find their favorite HBO shows in India. With the announcement, netizens have been searching for alternatives, from using torrents to VPN, in order to access HBO content.
Warner Bros Discovery had earlier announced that the launch of HBO Max in India was put on hold, with the focus instead on expanding its user base in existing markets where HBO Max is already available.
As viewers search for ways to access HBO content, various reports have surfaced on potential alternatives. One report by TechCrunch suggests that Amazon could be a possible platform for streaming HBO content in the future. The report notes, “Last year, the firm signed a deal with Amazon for streaming rights of some HBO content. Amazon is one of the likely contenders to broaden a deal with Warner Bros., industry analysts say.”
However, it should be noted that HBO has not yet confirmed any official plans for how its content will be made available in India after its exit from Disney+ Hotstar.
Future of Disney+ Hotstar in India
The recent loss of streaming rights to Indian Premier League (IPL) and HBO content is expected to significantly impact Disney+ Hotstar’s paid subscribers in India. Senior Vice President of Elara Capital, Karan Taurani, estimates that subscription losses could reach the higher end of 25-30 percent, based on a total of 61.5 million subscriptions at peak. The loss of subscriptions is expected to continue towards the June 2023 quarter due to the absence of IPL.
Despite these losses, Hotstar’s active paid subscriber base could settle at 42-45 million over the next three quarters, thanks to the availability of catch-up television content, Disney’s vast global and Indian movie catalog, and upcoming cricket events. However, if BCCI does not renew its contracts for India matches this year, the active paid subscriber base could drop below 40 million over the medium term.
Hotstar has lost two of the most prized possessions in quick succession. It will surely affect their viewership and grip on the Indian Market but it’s very unlikely that it will mark the end of the streaming giants dominance in the OTT Space. As Disney+ Hotstar has an array of content to offer the Indian Masses. From Movies & TV shows to Cricketing events, Hotstar has a lot to offer the Indian audiences. However, it will be interesting to see who will dominate the OTT Space in the coming future as things are every competitor is trying to bring something exciting on the table.
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