The news was revealed Tuesday on an earnings conference call by Disney CEO Bob Chapek. That was confirmed locally, with Indonesian media sent invitations for an Aug. 10 launch event in Jakarta.
“I’m happy to announce that we will also be rolling out Disney Plus Hotstar on September 5 in Indonesia, one of the world’s most populous countries. By year-end, Disney Plus will be available in nine of the top 10 economies in the world,” said Chapek.
Disney Plus Hotstar was created in March when the new launch Disney Plus service was grafted on to the existing and wildly successful Hotstar platform in India that Disney acquired when it bought 20th Century Fox in 2019.
Hotstar operated a mixed business model, incorporating free tiers for the mass market and premium levels available to paying subscribers. That model has been retained as the platform was relaunched. Consultancy, Media Partners Asia has forecast that Disney Plus Hotstar could become the number two video platform in India by 2025, second only to YouTube.
The Indonesia launch news also came as Disney announced that it would not release tentpole movie “Mulan” in theaters in those countries where Disney Plus is operational. Instead, the controversial and much delayed title, will head straight to streaming and be offered at a premium price in addition to monthly subscription fees.
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With cinemas in India closed until at least the end of this month, Disney has announced a direct to consumer policy for several other film titles. It announced in June that the Sushant Singh Rajput-starring “Dil Bechara” would bypass cinemas and premier on Disney Plus Hotstar instead.
Six more titles were also announced: horror comedy “Laxmmi Bomb,” starring Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani; war drama “Bhuj: The Pride of India,” starring Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt and Sonakshi Sinha; “Sadak 2,” a sequel to 1991 romantic thriller “Sadak,” starring Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanjay Dutt; financial crime drama “The Big Bull,” starring Abhishek Bachchan and Ileana D’Cruz; comedy “Lootcase,” featuring Kunal Kemmu and Rasika Duggal; and action romance “Khuda Haafiz,” starring Vidyut Jammwal and Shivaleeka Oberoi.
The films are rolling out on Disney Plus Hotstar’s newly launched ‘Multiplex’ strand from July through October.