Hotstar is an Indian subscription video on-demand streaming service owned and operated by Star India, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company India. It features two paid subscription plans — "VIP", which focuses on domestic programmes and sports content (including Indian Premier League), and "Premium" featuring premium international films and television series (including HBO, Showtime, Disney+ original series and other original series). As of July 2020, VIP Plan costs ₹399 for a year and Premium Plan costs ₹1,499 per year or ₹299 for a monthly plan. As of March 2020, Disney+ Hotstar has at least 300 million active users.
In February 2020, following the purchase of Star India's parent company 21st Century Fox by Disney in 2019, the company announced plans to integrate its new international streaming brand Disney+ with Hotstar in April 2020—leveraging Hotstar's existing infrastructure and userbase. On 3 April 2020, the platform was merged with Disney+.
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 Disney+ 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, Premier League football from the United Kingdom, and access to content from the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. The Hotstar Premium tier adds access to premium international films and series, including content from Disney (including all Disney+ original content), HBO, Showtime and much of Disney's 20th Century Studios content.
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) and focus on providing "big-scale, high-quality drama". Hotstar partnered with a large number of Indian filmmakers to produce series for the brand.
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. It reached a similar deal with Showtime in July 2017.
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. The partnership between Hotstar and HOOQ ended in 2020 when the latter shut down due to bankruptcy. It was eventually acquired by Coupang in July 2020.
On 29 June 2020, Hotstar launched a new venture, Disney+Hotstar Multiplex. Under this new venture, Hotstar is offering a Friday release of new Bollywood movies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting with Dil Bechara on 24 July 2020, followed by The Big Bull, Lootcase, Khuda Haafiz, Laxmmi Bomb, Bhuj: The Pride of India, Sadak 2, etc.