Disney+ launches on India's Hotstar three weeks ahead of schedule [Update: rollout paused]
What you need to know
- Disney+ was slated to go live on Hotstar on March 29, but it's already live for users in the country.
- Marquee shows like The Mandalorian are available to stream, as well as all movies in the Star Wars franchise.
- With the integration, Hotstar has been rebranded to Disney+ Hotstar.
Update: Disney has mentioned in a statement that it is pausing the rollout of Disney+ on Hotstar. The service was scheduled to go live in March 29, but several shows were already available to stream on Hotstar three weeks early. Disney now says it will announce a "revised premiere date" for the service shortly. The content that's already live is available to stream, but users will have to wait a little bit longer to stream Disney's back catalog:
Disney+ was scheduled to launch on India's Hotstar streaming service on March 29, but the integration is already live. An update to the Hotstar Android app adds Disney+ vast catalog of shows, including The Mandalorian and all Star Wars movies.
The update also introduces Hotstar's rebranding to Disney+ Hotstar. The new icon puts Disney+ front and center, and Hotstar's premium tier is now dubbed Disney+ Hotstar VIP. The changelog for the update notes that over 130 TV shows — including 30 originals — and over 200 movies have been added to the platform, and it looks like most of Disney's back catalog is available. The notable omission is The Simpsons, and we'll have to wait and see if the show makes its way onto the platform in the coming weeks.
The Hotstar interface is unchanged, and you get easy options to download content and add shows to your list. It also has Cast built-in, letting you stream content to a Chromecast-enabled TV. The content itself is limited to 1080p, but we'll have to see if that changes closer to the official launch date.
Another unknown at this point is how much the rebranded entity will cost. Hotstar's premium tier costs ₹999 ($15) a year, but that number will likely increase with the Disney+ integration. We should know more in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, you can head to Hotstar right now to stream your favorite Disney shows.
India's biggest streaming service gets even better with the addition of Disney+. Now stream your favorite Disney content — including The Mandalorian and Star Wars movies — directly on the platform. The best part is that you can download all premium content for offline viewing, and at ₹999 ($15) a year, it is a fantastic deal.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.