In 2019, the Walt Disney Company launched its exclusive digital streaming service, pointedly named Disney+. After pulling out almost all of its library of digital content from other “general” platforms like Netflix, the House of Mouse put all of them into Disney+ and sweetened the deal with some sweet original programming across its primary “labels” of Disney, Marvel (Cinematic Universe) and LucasFilm’s “Star Wars.” Unfortunately, the services was initially available only on North America, Europe and Australia, with months and then years crawling by before South America, North Africa, India, Japan and Indonesia got it. The rest of the world either withered on the vine or resorted to using VPNs.
But for certain, unspecified parts of Southeast Asia, the Disney+ drought may soon be coming to an end. IGN reports that binge watchers in the region may soon be able to legit watch “The Mandalorian,” “WandaVision,” and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” (yes, that is real) among many others, courtesy of a Disney+-merged streaming service that is reasonably near. That would be Hotstar, one of the top media platforms from India owned and run by now-Disney subsidiary Star India. Hotstar is already established in Indonesia, and is expanding to Malaysia and Singapore and, hopefully, the rest of SEA.
Hotstar usually carries sports content and domestic programming from India (particularly of Star India), but ever since its integration with Disney+ back in early 2020, there is now a dedicated content tab on the Hotstar home page for all the hottest stuff courtesy of Disney+. Recall that the main streaming platform carries not just Disney films, animations and TV series, but also Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. And they all could be had in Southeast Asia sooner or later, as a post from the new official Hotstar Malaysia Instagram account teases so teasingly.
Disney+ Hotstar was available in India for a yearly subscription worth about US$14. The platform’s rates and subscription duration in its new SEA stomping grounds are not yet known; there are concerns that the price may spike, but that is just speculation. For now, the best Southeast Asians outside of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore can do is wait and hope.Image courtesy of Soya Cincau