Disney+ Hotstar, the popular streaming platform, has exciting news for its subscribers. They have recently announced the upcoming release of a highly-anticipated original series called “School of Lies.” Starring renowned actors Nimrat Kaur, Aamir Bashir, and Sonali Kulkarni, among others, this new show is set to premiere on 2 June, creating a buzz among fans.
In a significant move last year, Walt Disney made a massive investment of ₹23,575 crore to secure the television broadcast rights for the IPL tournament for a duration of five years, starting from 2023. However, they opted to relinquish the valuable digital media rights, which were ultimately secured by Viacom18 through a bid of ₹23,758 crore.
While Disney+ Hotstar has made significant strides in the streaming market, they have also undergone some changes. As of 31 March, the platform discontinued streaming 144 HBO originals, as the longstanding content deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of HBO, was not extended. This decision, along with other factors, has led to a slight slowdown in the platform’s growth rate. In the December quarter of 2022, the global subscriber count dipped from 61.3 million to 57.5 million, with India representing a significant portion of its subscriber base.
To address these changes, Disney+ Hotstar has devised a multi-pronged strategy.
First and foremost, they are focusing on producing and promoting local original content that carries Disney’s exclusive intellectual property rights across various Indian languages.
Secondly, they plan to leverage the vast library of television programming from Star India’s satellite TV channels, such as Star Plus and Star Vijay.
Thirdly, they aim to capitalize on the demand for international programming by offering popular Disney content, including beloved franchises like Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar.
Additionally, they intend to attract audiences with a robust movie catalog, featuring films that are either directly streamed on the Hotstar platform or acquired after their theatrical release. Finally, Disney+ Hotstar will continue to offer a compelling sports portfolio, even without the IPL, by hosting other premium cricket, football, and tennis events.
In response to the evolving landscape, Disney has also announced plans to reduce its workforce by 7,000 employees. The company aims to achieve significant cost savings of $5.5 billion across various sectors, including $3 billion in savings specifically related to content, excluding sports.
With these strategic moves and investments, Disney+ Hotstar aims to maintain its position as a leading streaming platform in India, offering a diverse range of captivating content to its subscribers.
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