Are you a fan of Hotstar, the Indian streaming giant that has taken the world by storm? Do you want to know more about the history of this platform, and how it evolved from a local startup to a global player in the streaming industry? Then you’re in the right place! In this blog, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and explore the important events and dates related to Hotstar, from its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company in 2019 to its expansion into other territories, and the challenges it faced along the way. So sit back, relax, and get ready to relive the most significant moments in the Hotstar timeline!
List of important events related to Hotstar:
1. February 11, 2015: Hotstar was officially launched by Star India after fifteen months of development, coinciding with the 2015 Cricket World Cup and the upcoming 2015 Indian Premier League.
2. April 2016: Hotstar launched a subscription tier primarily oriented towards international content and the possibility of premium sports content, along with a new deal to carry HBO content uncut on the platform.
3. 2016: The launch of the LTE-only wireless carrier Jio spurred the growth of mobile broadband in India, which in turn bolstered the growth of streaming video in the country. Hotstar remained the dominant streaming service.
4. July 2017: Hotstar’s apps had reached 300 million downloads, and it was reported as being the top video streaming app in the country.
5. May 2018: Hotstar was reported to have 75–100 million active users per month.
6. September 2018: Hotstar planned to increase its production of premium original content to better compete with Amazon and Netflix, aided by new funding from Star US Holdings.
7. 2019: Hotstar had over 150 million active users monthly.
8. March 2019: Hotstar migrated existing subscribers of its All Annual Sports plan to a new entry-level plan known as Hotstar VIP.
9. 2019 Indian Premier League: Hotstar repeatedly broke records for concurrent viewership, with the 2019 final setting a new “global record” peak of 18.6 million. This was surpassed during the semi-final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup between India and New Zealand, with 25.3 million. After the India-Pakistan match earlier in the tournament, Hotstar surpassed almost 100 million daily users.
10. March 2019: The Walt Disney Company acquires Star and Hotstar as part of its acquisition of their US parent company, 21st Century Fox.
11. February 2020: Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, announces that Disney+ will be integrated into Hotstar as part of a re-launch.
12. March 2020: Hotstar begins a soft launch of the expanded service. The launch, originally scheduled to coincide with the opening of the 2020 Indian Premier League, is postponed to 3 April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
13. April 3, 2020: Hotstar officially launches the re-branded service with a “virtual red carpet premiere” of The Lion King and Disney+ series The Mandalorian.
14. May 2, 2020: Star announces that it will distribute the service for free to migrant workers in Singapore through 21 July, to improve morale amid the impact of COVID-19.
15. June 2020: Sunil Rayan is named the new president of Hotstar.
16. August 2020: Disney announces that it will begin extending the Disney+ Hotstar service to other territories, beginning with Indonesia. The company also announces that it will use the branding Star for general entertainment streaming services in markets outside of the United States.
17. February 2023: Disney reports a net loss of 2.4 million subscribers worldwide in the first fiscal quarter of 2023, with its loss of streaming rights to the IPL in India to Viacom18 being the main contributing factor.
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