Indian streamer Disney Plus Hotstar has appointed Sunil Rayan as president and head. He will report into Uday Shankar, president, The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific, and chairman Star and Disney India.
Rayan is a technologist with more than 20 years of experience. He was with Google in California for eight years, where his last position was general manager and managing director, Cloud for Games. Rayan has had previous stints at McKinsey, IBM, iGate Mastech and Infosys.
“Five years ago, we set out to disrupt the way India consumed content and that mission has turned out to be totally revolutionary,” said Shankar. “Sunil is an exciting talent with global accomplishments. We are on a mission to create the country’s largest and most advanced platform for curated content, and Sunil is just the right person to drive that ambition.” The position was vacant since 2018 when Ajit Mohan exited to head Facebook in India.
Disney Plus Hotstar was created earlier this year when the new Disney Plus streaming service was merged with the hugely successful Hotstar platform that Disney acquired from 21st Century Fox. It has a mixed business model, with free, ad-supported tiers and a subscription layer delivering premium content including movies and live sport. Disney Plus Hotstar claims over 8 million subscriptions and 300 million monthly average users, making it the most popular streaming service in India.
A study published in May by consultancy Media Partners Asia forecast that Disney Plus Hotstar’s revenue would grow from an annual $216 million in 2019 to $902 million by 2025.