Disney+ Hotstar Tops Netflix Subs in Asia Pacific Region

Disney+ ended the most-recent fiscal period (ended July 3) with 116 million subscribers, with one-third (38 million) from India. The latter was enough for Disney to surpass Netflix’s 28 million subs in the Asia Pacific region, which includes India.

While Disney+ sub growth has been impressive, it had a huge advantage from the start with the inclusion of the Hotstar streaming service Disney obtained via its $71.3 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox.

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The Disney+ sub tally includes Disney+ Hotstar, which launched April 3, 2020, in India (as a conversion of the pre-existing Hotstar service); on Sept. 5, 2020, in Indonesia; on June 1, 2021, in Malaysia; and on June 30, 2021, in Thailand.

Disney+ will reach 121 million subscribers by 2026, double its 2021 total, according to new data from Digital TV Research.

The London-based research firm contends Asia Pacific will have 698 million SVOD subscriptions by 2026, up from 502 million at end of the year. China will provide 354 million SVOD subscriptions in 2026 — or half of the region’s total. India will reach 157 million.

“China will remain dominant, although its growth will slow,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement.

Murray suggests Chinese government crackdowns on video game access to minors and reality programming to adults will slow SVOD growth.

“New online anti-fan regulations that … force SVOD platforms to screen fewer reality shows, will dampen interest in SVOD,” Murray said.

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