Update: Turns out this was a beta test, In a prepared statement to Gadgets 360, Hotstar finally broke their silence on the early Disney+ content drop by saying it was testing the new features of the app in a Beta test with a select few subscribers. The Disney+ content has now been hidden but is still accessible via direct links.
“A limited release of the beta version of the Disney+ Hotstar app is currently being tested with a small number of consumers, in preparation for the full-fledged app launch on 29th March,” A Hotstar spokesperson told the publication.
Usually, a Beta test is to iron out any chinks before a full launch and that also explains why everyone had trouble accessing the content. We just wish Hotstar would have given everyone a head’s up.
Also, here’s hoping the new look brings a few enhancements to the user-interface which when compared to the competition is severely lacking.
Hotstar’s collaboration with Disney for its Disney+ shows seems to have kicked off a full 18 months before schedule. The shows went live on Wednesday and Hotstar has updated its iOS and Android app with a new colour scheme to reflect the change. The new-look hasn’t gone live on the Hotstar website yet, which still follows the traditional green theme.
This has deepened Hotstar’s strong portfolio considerably and rival Netflix is now looking at some healthy competition for the throne. Netflix’s originals have been around longer and a lot of its shows are established franchises but Disney+ and HBO originals combined give Hotstar the edge for now. Hotstar is also cheaper than Netflix, so there’s that too.
The thing is people who are already hooked on Netflix’s originals won’t probably leave the service anytime soon but Hotstar’s cheaper subscription plans means it creeps on Netflix’s territory as the second on the go service for international content. Netflix’s stingy pricing means it’s also not in everyone’s ring of affordability.
Whoever wins the war, it’s clear that the customer benefits the most here, either Netflix drops its pricing or introduces more plan options to lure customers in.
Here is a list of Disney shows you can stream on Hotstar right now:
Diary of a Future President: Season 1, ongoing
Disney Family Sundays: Season 1, ongoing
Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings: Season 2, ongoing
Encore!: Season 1
Forky Asks a Question: Season 1
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: Season 1
The Imagineering Story: Limited Series
Lady and the Tramp (2019)
The Mandalorian: Season 1
Marvel’s Hero Project: Season 1, ongoing
One Day at Disney
One Day at Disney: Season 1, ongoing
Pick of the Litter: Season 1
Pixar in Real Life: Season 1, ongoing
Shop Class: Season 1, ongoing
Short Circuit: Season 1
SparkShorts: Season 1
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
The World According to Jeff Goldblum: Season 1