After Indonesia, Disney's Hotstar makes it way to Singapore

Hotstar, Disney's streaming platform for Indian dramas, movies and live sports, will launch in Singapore in November. The service will be available for subscription through its website and mobile app from 1 November onwards, and can be viewed through connected TV devices. Hotstar has also collaborated with StarHub to make the streaming service accessible with Indian+ on StarHub TV+ service. With this offer, all StarHub Indian+ subscribers on a 12 or 24-month contract will be able to access Hotstar at no additional charges. 

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Amit Malhotra, regional lead, emerging markets, The Walt Disney Company APAC, said it chose to launch Hotstar in Singapore as it is one of the leading markets for digital content consumption in Southeast Asia. "We are thrilled to bring the excitement of Hotstar straight into the hands of the South Asian community as part of our global rollout strategy," he added.

The launch of Hotstar is targeted at the South Asian community in Singapore. With its offer of over 85,000 hours of movies, shows and live Cricket, including Dream11 IPL 2020 and 2021 ICC Men’s World Cup, Asia Cup 2021, IPL 2021, Hotstar aims to be the destination for fans of live Cricket and Indian entertainment in Singapore. 

Hotstar will be using fan-focused marketing campaigns to reach out to more audiences in Singapore. As a launch offering, Dream11 IPL’s last four league games will be available free for all Singapore viewers from 1 November to 3 November. Malhotra also said as part of its marketing strategy, it hopes to build an active social community for fans of Cricket and Indian content to share their love and excitement. Additionally, Hotstar will partner with Indian celebrities and local personalities in its campaigns, in hopes to reach and engage the local South Asian community across media platforms regularly accessible to them. 

"We are excited to launch Hotstar in collaboration with StarHub, and bring the same world-class service to audiences in Singapore. With an extensive range of content, featuring the biggest stars and an unparalleled user experience, Hotstar changed the way Indians consume content, quickly becoming the country's leading streaming service. ” Malhotra said. 

Johan Buse, chief of consumer business group, StarHub, added: "We are thrilled to welcome another streaming app onto StarHub TV+ service as we continue with unabated momentum to add the hottest and freshest content to entertain our customers. Hotstar boasts a myriad of Indian blockbuster films, TV shows, complementing StarHub’s existing TV channels to give our customers the best line-up of Tamil and Hindi entertainment content in Singapore."

Earlier in May, Disney dipped its toes in the Singapore market by temporarily bringing Hotstar to migrant workers during the COVID-19 period. Through the initiative, it aimed to offer South Asian migrant workers residing in Singapore moments of respite during this uncertain and difficult time. For three months, migrant workers were able to livestream Hotstar's content through their mobile phones. Disney also worked with the Singapore government and migrant workers outreach groups to inform workers about this initiative at a grassroots level. 

Disney has also launched its Disney+ Hotstar service in Indonesia last month through a collaboration with Telkomsel. This consists of a selection of over 500 films and specials, and 7,000 episodes of content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more, as well as exclusive original programming including feature-length films, series, documentaries, and short-form content made exclusively for the service. These range from global hits such as Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, Disney’s Aladdin, the epic first-ever live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian; and more.

These moves come as Disney looks to accelerate its direct-to-consumer strategy. Disney recently said it will be reorganising its media and entertainment businesses, after seeing "tremendous success" in the company’s direct-to-consumer business. Under the new structure, Disney will focus on developing and producing original content for the company’s streaming services and legacy platforms, while distribution and commercialisation activities will be centralised into a single, global media and entertainment distribution group. The newly-created group will be responsible for all monetisation of content for both distribution and ad sales, and will oversee operations of Disney's streaming services.

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