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Disney+ Hotstar appoints Google’s Sunil Rayan as president and head

It has three distinct price offerings – Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium and an ad-supported basic tier available for customers.Premium
It has three distinct price offerings – Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium and an ad-supported basic tier available for customers.

  • Rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar earlier this year, the service offers content bundled from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic
  • At Google, Sunil Rayan helped oversee product, engineering and business development strategies

NEW DELHI : Disney+ Hotstar, the video streaming service owned by the Star network has appointed Sunil Rayan as president and head, according to people familiar with the development. Rayan comes from Google where he was managing director for Google Cloud for Games.

Since former Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan left the company in 2018 to head Facebook’s India operations, the company had primarily been managed by its Star and Disney India chairman Uday Shankar. Former Star and Disney India managing director Sanjay Gupta had joined Google as country manager and vice-president of sales and operations for India last November.

At Google, Rayan helped oversee product, engineering and business development strategies. Before that, he was managing director for the mobile app advertising business, associate principal at American management consulting firm McKinsey & Co with expertise in sales force productivity, sales growth and technology-enabled selling topics and software engineer at IT service management company iGate Mastech.

Rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar earlier this year, the service offers content bundled from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. Besides films and TV shows, it brings original shows like space western The Mandalorian that is set in the Star Wars universe, documentary series The World According to Jeff Goldblum, mockumentary High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, among others. It has three distinct price offerings – Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium and an ad-supported basic tier available for customers. The VIP plan is available for Rs. 399 a year (as opposed to Rs. 365 before rebranding) while the premium subscription comes for Rs. 1,499 (as compared to Rs. 999).

According to a report titled India Intelligence and Insights: Disney+ Hotstar: The Future of India’s Largest Premium Digital Video Platform brought out by independent research and consultancy services firm Media Partners Asia, Disney+ Hotstar is expected to command 18 million subscribers in India. It is also estimated to acquire a potential 25% of the total online video revenue pie by 2025, second only to Google’s YouTube. Further, MPA says Disney+ Hotstar could reach 93 million paying subscribers by 2025 at monthly ARPUs (average revenue per user) under $1. This equates to $587 million in subscription revenue by 2025 while advertising sales could reach $314 million. Sports, local originals, Hollywood entertainment and super aggregator strategy are its strengths, combined with pricing that has been important given that India’s large pay-TV universe only pays $4 per month for a wide range of live TV channels.

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