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Walt Disney Brings the Entire Disney+ Catalog to India Next Month

By Anders Bylund - Feb 5, 2020 at 1:26PM

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The House of Mouse will introduce its Disney+ content through another subsidiary named Hotstar, which is a leading platform for streaming video in India.

On Tuesday evening's first-quarter earnings call, Walt Disney (DIS 3.30%) outlined its international expansion plans for the Disney+ video-streaming service.

Swinging for the fences in India

The service will launch in several European countries on March 24 and another pan-European wave over the summer. Between these launch events, Disney+ will hit the Indian market on March 29 through the leading digital video provider in that massive market -- a Disney subsidiary known as Hotstar, brought in as a part of the $71 billion Fox buyout last year.

Disney-owned Hotstar was the second-most popular streaming video app in India according to a survey by mobile industry analyst firm App Annie. Over 50% of Indian smartphone users had the Hotstar app installed at the end of 2018. Both Netflix (NFLX 2.72%) and Amazon Prime (AMZN 2.07%) trailed Hotstar in both of these market-size comparisons, despite both companies placing an intense focus on winning in the Indian market.

This launch brings the entire Disney+ catalog to Hotstar's premium subscription tiers, just ahead of the Indian Premier League cricket season. Hotstar holds the streaming rights to IPL cricket matches, which provides a spectacular launch platform for the incoming Disney+ content.

Close-up photo of a cricket ball hitting the wicket.

Image source: Getty Images.

A cricket-powered marketing push

Amazon and Netflix are playing catch-up in this key market and global entertainment titan Disney is about to block their efforts by exploiting the fruits of that huge Fox deal.

"We see this as a great opportunity to use the proven platform of Hotstar to launch the new Disney+ service in one of the most populous countries and fastest-growing economies in the world," Disney CEO Bob Iger said.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Anders Bylund owns shares of Amazon, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Netflix, and Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short April 2020 $135 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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