Hotstar is an Indian over-the-top streaming service owned by Novi Digital Entertainment, a subsidiary of Star India, which itself is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.

Hotstar website screenshot
Type of site
Video on demand
Available in
Area served
OwnerStar India
(The Walt Disney Company India)
ServicesOn-demand video streaming
ParentNovi Digital Entertainment
Alexa rank 143[1]
Users350 million+
LaunchedFebruary 2015
Current statusActive


Star India officially launched Hotstar in February 2014 after fifteen months of development, coinciding with the upcoming 2015 Indian Premier League (for which Star had recently acquired the streaming rights). The ad-supported service initially featured a library of over 35,000 hours of content in seven regional languages, as well as live streaming coverage of sports such as [cricket] (on a tape delay of several minutes), football, and kabaddi. Star CEO Sanjay Gupta felt that there "[weren't] many platforms available to Indian consumers offering high-quality, curated content besides, say, YouTube", and explained that the service would appeal most prominently to the growing young adult demographic, and feature "very targeted" advertising. He estimated that by 2020, the service could account for nearly a quarter of Star's annual revenue.[2][3]

In April 2016, Hotstar launched a subscription tier primarily oriented towards international content and the possibility of premium sports content. The service launched alongside a new deal to carry HBO content uncut on the platform, with its introduction coinciding with the season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones.[4]

The 2016 launch of the LTE-only wireless carrier Jio spurred the growth of mobile broadband in India, and was credited in turn for having bolstered the growth of streaming video in the country. While international services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have seen some growth in the Indian market, Hotstar has remained the dominant streaming service.[5] By July 2017, Hotstar's apps had reached 300 million downloads, and it was reported as being the top video streaming app in the country.[6][7]

In September 2017, Star Sports acquired the entirety of the media rights to the Indian Premier League, with Hotstar acting as the international digital rightsholder. Afterward, Hotstar launched an international subscription service in Canada and the United States, aimed towards providing its domestic Indian content and sports.[8][9] Hotstar launched in the United Kingdom in September 2018, to coincide with the 2018 Asia Cup.[10]

In May 2018, it was reported that the service had 75-100 million active users per-month.[11] In September 2018, Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan left to become the vice-president and managing director of Facebook India.[12] That month, it was reported that the service had begun to restructure its leadership to have separate executives for its ad-supported and premium services, and, aided by new funding from Star US Holdings, planned to increase its production of premium original content to better-compete with Amazon and Netflix, amidst concerns that the service was beginning to hemorrhage cash.[13]

On January 4, 2019, Star discontinued their international linear pay television channels in the U.S. (such as StarPlus), in order to focus more on marketing the Hotstar service in the market as an alternative.[14]

By 2019, the service had over 150 million active users monthly. In March 2019, ahead of the 2019 Indian Premier League, Hotstar replaced its All Annual Sports plan with Hotstar VIP. Intended as an introductory option, it includes access to sports content (including the IPL, 2019 Cricket World Cup, and English Premier League football), early access to serials before their television broadcast, access to content from the new Hotstar Specials banner of content, and can be paid for using cash. Chief product officer Varun Narang described the offering as "a value proposition built with the Indian audience at the heart of it". Existing All Annual Sports subscribers were upgraded to VIP at no additional charge.[15]

Star, and in turn Hotstar, were acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2019, as part of its acquisition of their U.S. parent company 21st Century Fox.

In August 2019, during Disney's earning call, Bob Iger revealed that plans are in place for expansion of Hotstar in Southeast Asia.[16][17]

After the launch of Disney+ in North America on November 12, 2019, it was reported that the service's catalog will be released in India and Southeast Asian markets through Hotstar sometime after the conclusion of the 2020 Indian Premier League.[18]


Hotstar generated at least 340 million views throughout the 2015 Cricket World Cup, and over 200 million during the 2015 Indian Premier League season.[19][20]

The 2019 Indian Premier League repeatedly broke records for concurrent viewership on Hotstar, with the 2019 final setting a new "global record" peak of 18.6 million. U.S. website TechCrunch credited these gains to the extensive growth of internet usage in the country.[21] This was surpassed during the semi-final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup between India and New Zealand, with 25.3 million. After the India-Pakistan match earlier in the tournament, Hotstar surpassed 100 million daily users.[22]


Hotstar is accessible via its website, as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.[23]

In India, the service is operated as both a free ad-supported service, and two subscription-based tiers. The ad-supported service includes access to selected Indian films and Star series after their television broadcast. The Hotstar VIP subscription is oriented towards domestic content, including series from Star's Indian-language television networks and the Hotstar Specials banner, early access to Star's Indian television serial programs before their television premiere, cricket coverage, and Premier League football from the United Kingdom. The Hotstar Premium tier adds access to premium international films and series, including content from 20th Century Fox, Disney, HBO, and Hooq.[24][25][26]


Some early original content on the service included the news comedy program On Air With AIB, and CinePlay. In March 2019, the service launched a new premium original content brand, Hotstar Specials, with the first production being Roar of the Lion—a docudrama miniseries chronicling the Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 Indian Premier League. Hotstar stated that these series would be at least six episodes in length, be available in seven regional languages (Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu)[27] and focus on providing "big-scale, high-quality drama". Hotstar partnered with a large number of Indian filmmakers to produce series for the brand.[28][29][30]

In December 2015, Hotstar gained domestic streaming rights to current and past HBO original series, as part of Star's larger deal with the network.[31] It reached a similar deal with Showtime in July 2017.[32]

In October 2018, Hotstar partnered with Hooq to offer its content on its premium service, including rights to films and series from its co-owners Sony Pictures and Warner Bros., as well as its other content partners.[33]


  1. " Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  2. Dina, Arzoo (11 February 2015). "With Hotstar, Star India aims to change the way content is consumed in India". Livemint. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  3. "Star India's Novi Digital Entertainment bags IPL media rights for whopping Rs 302 crore". Firstpost. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  4. "Hotstar launches monthly subscriptions to offer US TV shows & movies". ETTech. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  5. Singh, Manish (6 July 2018). "Netflix and Amazon are struggling to win over the world's second-largest internet market". CNBC. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  6. Choudhary, Vidhi (16 July 2017). "Hotstar retains No. 1 spot among video streaming apps in January-June, shows data". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  7. Laghate, Gaurav (29 December 2017). "Fall in data prices, new users reason for rise in video consumption". The Economic Times. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  8. "Star India bags IPL media rights for next 5 years". The Economic Times. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  9. "Hotstar Launches Its Premium Service in US and Canada". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  10. "Star India's Hotstar launches in United Kingdom". Economic Times. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  11. Ramachandran, Naman (4 May 2018). "Fox Streaming Service Hotstar Breaks Out in Burgeoning India Market". Variety. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  12. Who is Ajit Mohan, the new Facebook India head- Business News
  13. "Star India rejigs Hotstar service to drive growth". Economic Times. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  14. Baddhan, Raj (7 December 2018). "Star TV to shutdown television operations in USA". BizAsia. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  15. "Star India launches Hotstar VIP OTT featuring premium sport". SportsPro Media. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  16. "Disney's Q3 FY19 Earnings Results Webcast". The Walt Disney Company. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  17. "Disney Plans Southeast Asia Expansion for Hotstar". NDTV Gadgets 360.
  18. "Disney+ to launch in India, Southeast Asian markets next year". TechCrunch. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  19. "Hotstar notches up 200 million views in IPL 8". 5 June 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  20. "Amazon Prime Video vs Netflix vs Hotstar: From price to content, which is the best video streaming site in India". 12 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  21. "Hotstar, Disney's Indian streaming service, sets new global record for live viewership". TechCrunch. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  22. "Hotstar sets global streaming record during India-New Zealand semi-final". SportsPro Media. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  23. "10 million users in 40 days: Hotstar takes digital media world by storm". Business Standard. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  24. "Hotstar Rs 365 VIP subscription: What is it, what does it offer and everything you need to know". India Today. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  25. "Should You Subscribe to Hotstar VIP or Hotstar Premium Ahead of IPL 2019?". News18. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  26. Laghate, Gaurav (20 March 2019). "Hotstar launches new subscription pack ahead of IPL". The Economic Times. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  27. Laghate, Gaurav (15 January 2019). "Hotstar to invest Rs 120 crore in generating original content". The Economic Times. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  28. "MS Dhoni bared his soul in Roar of the Lion: Kabir Khan". The Indian Express. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  29. "MS Dhoni to feature in Hotstar's docu-drama Roar of the Lion". The Indian Express. 5 March 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  30. Ramachandran, Naman (14 January 2019). "Hotstar, Fox's Indian Streaming Service, Moves Into Original Content With Big-Name Talent". Variety. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  31. "Fox's Star India Strikes Exclusive Deal for HBO Originals". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  32. Choudhary, Vidhi (12 July 2017). "Hotstar to stream shows from CBS's Showtime". Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  33. Frater, Patrick (8 October 2018). "HOOQ Massively Expands India Reach With Hotstar Partnership (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
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