Disney to drop down Subscribers amid India Cricket season
Disney to drop down Subscribers amid India Cricket season

New Delhi:- Disney+ Hotstar lost nearly a quarter of its customer base, or 12.5 million subscribers, in the quarter ended June, Disney revealed on Wednesday earnings, the continued failure of its service. streaming service focused on India, which is reeling from a lack of cricket content.

This is the third consecutive quarter Disney has lost subscribers. Hotstar had 40.4 million subscribers at the end of June, down about 21 million since October 2022. The drop in subscribers comes at a time of rumors that Disney is considering selling or forming a joint venture. business for all operations in India.

Disney CEO Bob Iger didn't necessarily offer a strong outlook for India on the earnings call. When asked how Disney+ Hotstar is shaping the company's vision for its long-term international streaming strategy and if Disney is considering exiting certain markets, Iger said.

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"We've actually looked at a number of markets around the world with the aim of prioritizing which ones will help us turn this business into a profitable business. That basically means there are markets where we will invest less in local programming while maintaining service.

There are some markets where we may not have any service and there are others where we will look, I'll call them high potential markets where we're going to invest well in local programming, marketing and basically full-service content in those markets. What I'm saying is that not all markets are created equal. And in terms of our journey to profitability, one of the ways we think we'll get there is by creating priorities internationally.

Iger said Wednesday that Disney is considering "strategic options" for the company's television network portfolio. It also raised the price of the ad-free versions of Disney+ and Hulu by more than 20%, in its second cost hike this year.

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Hotstar, the jewel in Fox's portfolio that will become part of Disney with the acquisition, has attracted tens of millions of customers over the past decade, thanks in part to live broadcasting of cricket matches, especially especially the local IPL tournament.

That changed when Disney was paid a premium by Viacom18, a company backed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, for last season's IPL digital rights. To actively win customers, JioCinema has streamed this year's IPL for free in India. “Essentially, this outcome has allowed the country's largest mobile telecom operator (backed by one of the richest men in the world) to re-enter a market once dominated by Disney.

Protecting linear operations through Disney guaranteeing IPL rights makes no sense when Reliance introduces its mobile IPL product for free. As mobile operators in India like Vodafone have learned over the years, they are struggling to compete with a local champion that wants to disrupt the market with free or discounted offers.” Researcher MoffettNathanson wrote in a report last month.

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Disney mentioned that this is the fourth quarter in a row they lost subscribers and Jio Cinemas offers all customers free streaming of the cricket match, which makes the competition even more complicated for with Disney. 

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