MediAvataar's News Desk
World’s Best Stories coming to India on 3rd April with Disney+ Hotstar
Enjoy over 250 superhero and animated films, over 100 series including Disney+ Originals and engaging kids’ content, along with latest Bollywood blockbusters and Hotstar Specials
Language-based subscription offering: Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscribers can enjoy content in their own language (Hindi, Tamil and Telugu)
Additionally, Disney+ Hotstar Premium subscribers will have access to content in English including Disney+ Originals
Advertising-supported content will continue to be available across TV Shows, Movies, News and Sports at no cost to viewers
Star India, the nation’s foremost media company, has announced the upgrade of Hotstar to Disney+ Hotstar on 3rd April 2020. With a fresh new look and enhanced user interface, Disney+ Hotstar brings together the magic of Disney’s storytelling and the scale and technological expertise of Hotstar, giving users an unparalleled video streaming experience.
As people across the country practise social distancing and stay at home, Disney+ Hotstar is set to offer an unmatched entertainment experience for families with the world’s best superhero movies, unrivalled animated films, popular kids programming, recently released Bollywood blockbusters, exclusive Hotstar Specials shows, unlimited LIVE sporting action, and much more. Starting 3rd April three distinct offerings – Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium and an ad-supported basic tier will be available, offering consumers an abundance of choice.
Uday Shankar - President, The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney India, said, “With the success of Hotstar, we ushered in a new era for premium video streaming in India. Today, as we unveil Disney+ Hotstar, we take yet another momentous step in staying committed to our promise of delivering high-quality impactful stories for India that have not only entertained but also made a difference in people’s lives, a promise that is even more meaningful in challenging times such as this. We hope the power of Disney’s storytelling, delivered through Hotstar’s technology, will help our viewers find moments of comfort, happiness and inspiration during these difficult times.”
Stay Safe and Stay Entertained 24x7 in a language of your choice
From the comfort of their homes, Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscribers can explore the world of great entertainment in a language of their choice. Subscribers will now get expanded access to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and the best of superheroes movies like The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor Ragnarok, latest and biggest movies including The Lion King, Frozen II, Aladdin and Toy Story 4. Families can spend quality time together with engaging content and characters like Mickey Mouse, Gajju Bhai, Doraemon and Shin-chan. Stay entertained with the latest Bollywood movies like Panga, Tanhaji and more immediately after theatrical release, watch exclusive Hotstar Specials shows in seven languages like the hugely popular Neeraj Pandey’s Special Ops, Out of Love, Criminal Justice, unlimited LIVE sporting action, and STAR serials before TV and much more. Users can now enjoy all this at an affordable price of INR 399/- for a year.
Subscribers of Disney+ Hotstar Premium will receive all the benefits of Disney+ Hotstar VIP, with the addition of access to English language content and 29 critically acclaimed Disney+ Originals, including The Mandalorian from executive producer and writer Jon Favreau; High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, a creative modern take on the hit franchise; and the live-action Lady and the Tramp, a timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic; and many more to come; as well as the latest American shows from studios like HBO, Fox, Showtime at the price of INR 1499 for a year.
All existing subscribers will be automatically upgraded to their respective new subscription plan and will be charged the new rates upon renewal.
Exciting New Features
A separate Disney+ branded section will help users navigate the wonderful Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content available on the service. Subscribers will enjoy the benefits of unlimited downloads of all Disney+ movies and shows, as well as personalized recommendations. Additionally, parents can navigate through the kids-safe mode to access age-appropriate content.
Continued Access to Free Content
Users will continue to enjoy high-quality free content such as daily catch-up TV shows in 8 Indian languages, a vast library of blockbuster movies like Housefull 4, Chhichhore, Badhai Ho, Komali and many more, and LIVE and on-demand news in 8 languages from the leading news channels in the country. Disney+ Hotstar will also have a comprehensive sports clips offering for its free users, covering major sporting events such IPL, BCCI cricket series, Premier League, ISL and PKL, with all the exciting action from the day available as match highlights, key individual performances and match analysis.
Interactive Viewing: Disney+ Hotstar Red Carpet Premiere
As a prelude to the launch, Disney+ Hotstar will host India’s largest virtual red carpet event on 2nd April with the premiere of The Lion King (in English, Hindi, Tamil & Telugu) at 6pm followed by the popular Disney+ original The Mandalorian at 8pm. Helping build a virtual community and conversations in these times of physical and social distancing, users will be able to interact on the social feed on the platform, as these premieres are happening. They can chat with their friends and family, share photos and badges with them and the rest of India, and also interact with some of their favourite celebrities who will be at the red-carpet premiere event with them, all while staying safe at home.
Watch the magic of the world’s best stories unfold on Disney+ Hotstar on 3rd April 2020
YouGov looks at attitudes and behaviour across 26 markets
Several countries in YouGov’s international COVID-19 tracker – including India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and various US states – went into lockdown in between the previous and most recent surveys there, and the impact can clearly be in the number of people avoiding crowded places or going to work in those countries.
For instance, in India the number of people reporting that they have avoided going to work has leapt from 26% to 63% while in Malaysian the figures rose sharply from 14% to 55%.
In the UK the number of people avoiding crowded public spaces rose from 57% to 80%, putting it in line with other nations that have been locked down for longer.
Some countries have seen large shifts despite not having been told to stay indoors. In Germany, where people have been advised to practice social distancing measures but not put in lockdown, the proportion of people avoiding crowded places has risen from 46% to 70%.
Likewise in Indonesia, which had not implemented a lockdown by the time of the most recent survey, saw the number of people avoiding public places rise from 51% to 73%, and those avoiding work rose from 18% to 47%.
The Swedes and Finns are the least likely to have stopped mingling, with only 44% and 47% saying they are avoiding the crowds.
Fear levels continue to mount in most countries
The most significant increase in concern took place in the UK, with 61% of Britons now describing themselves as very or fairly scared of catching the disease, compared to 48% last week.
Fear levels have also risen noticeably in Australia and Germany, both of which have seen a 12 percentage point increase in the number of people who are very or fairly worried they will become infected (rising from 35% to 47% in Australia and from 37% to 49% in Germany).
The Indian, Canadian, Mexican and American populations have all also experienced double-digit increases in the number of people scared of falling victim to the virus.
In the four Nordic nations there has been no change in concern from one week to the next. Together with Mexico they form the 5 least worried countries, with just 27-42% expressing much fear.
Support for the various possible measures governments could take continues to rise across the countries studied.
Indians and Germans in particular are also among the consistently most likely to be moving in support of government measures to combat the disease, with double digits increases in support of almost all measures.
In Singapore – where last week we showed attitudes were beginning to soften – there has been a large reversal when it comes to allowing flights from countries with COVID-19 cases. The number of Singaporeans wanting to ban flights from such places has risen by 18 percentage points to 56%, the first time a majority have backed the measure since we started tracking.
The media and entertainment industry in India is on the fast track to growth, according to a report by EY and FICCI
The report, ‘A billion screens of opportunity’, says the sector is poised to cross $33.6 billion by 2021 at a compounded annual growth rate of 11.6%. The sector was worth $23.9 billion in 2018, growing 13.4% from 2017.
In a statement released, EY said the media sector continues to grow at a rate faster than India’s GDP, which reflects the rise in disposable income here. “India has the second highest number of Internet users after China with 570 million Internet subscribers growing at 13% annually. The report estimates that approximately 2.5 million consumers in India today are digital only and would not normally use traditional media. It is expected that this customer base will to grow to 5 million by 2021,” the statement said.
EY says that growth in digital consumption will spur media companies to innovate new monetisation avenues and service new customer segments. “Telco bundling will drive consumption for a majority of Indian OTT audience. Advertising growth outpaced subscription growth and is expected to comprise 52% of the total pie by 2021,” the company went on to say in the statement.
On the television front, the report said India’s TV industry grew from $9.47 billion (₹66,000 crore) in 2017 to $10.62 billion (₹74,000 crore) in 2018, registering a growth of 12%. TV advertising grew 14% to touch ₹30,500 crore while subscription grew 11% to ₹43,500 crore. There was a 7.5% rise in TV viewing households.
“Regional advertising growth outpaced national adverting growth on the back of national brands spending more to develop non-metro markets where GST created a level playing field between national and regional brands. 77% of time spent on television was on general entertainment content and film channels,” the report said, adding that 2019 promises further growth for TV due to the upcoming general election and the ICC World Cup. “The television segment can reach ₹955 billion [₹95,500 crore] by 2021, with advertising growth at 10% and subscription growth at 8%,” it further said.
For print media, which accounted for the second largest share of the media sector, the report said growth in 2018 was a mere 0.7% over 2017. It went on to say that with rising pressure on advertising and subscription revenues, print media companies will shift focus to digital as well.
“2018 witnessed a 26% growth in digital news consumers over 2017 when 222 million people consumed news online. Page views grew 59% over 2017 and average time spent increased by almost 100% to 8 minutes per day in 2018. Print companies will tilt their sales pitch towards performance, linking physical space sales with digital inventory, activations (both physical and digital), interactive concepts like QR codes, digital couponing, etc.,” the report said.
Meanwhile, India’s film segment grew 12.2% in 2018 driven by growth in digital/OTT rights along with overseas theatricals. Net box office collections from Hindi films in 2018 stood at ₹3,250 crore, the highest ever for Hindi theatricals. Here too, the emphasis on digital was evident. “Digital rights redefined the content consumption processes as the segment grew from ₹8.5 billion to ₹13.5 billion. Online platforms invested heavily in exclusive film rights and a digital-only film market has emerged,” the report said.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Uday Shankar, chairman, Star and Disney India and vice president of FICCI said, “The status quo is being shattered by digital disruptions and that’s unshackling the creative economy in India like never before. These are exciting times for all it is to let our imagination and ambition guide us.”
Ashish Pherwani, partner and media and entertainment leader at EY India, too, emphasised the scope for growth in the digital space. “There is a large shift in consumer behaviour from mass produced content to specific content defined to audience segments. The sector has an opportunity to serve a billion screens in India and globally,” he said.
According to the FICCI 2020 report, MX Player surges ahead of Hotstar and Tik Tok in terms of Monthly Active Users
MX Player has emerged as the #1 entertainment app in India, according to the annual FICCI Report on India’s Media and Entertainment Sector titled ‘The Era of Consumer A.R.T’. The ranking is based on apps classified under entertainment categories on iOS and Google Play. The entertainment streaming app that launched in February 2019, has dominated the market in terms of Monthly Active Users, followed by Hotstar, Tik Tok, BookMyShow, Jio TV, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, SonyLiv, Airtel TV, and Voot.
Currently, MX Player has 280 million MAUs globally and 175 million MAUs in India.
Commenting on this honour, Karan Bedi, CEO, MX Player said, “We’re a young brand and I’m delighted that in this short time, we’ve emerged as the #1 entertainment app of 2019 in India. Our scale and penetration remain unparalleled and our aim is to keep innovating and experimenting with genres, stories, languages, characters to be able to cater to every palette, enhancing our product and making sure that users continue engaging with a fresh experience, every time they log into MX Player. Being an AVOD platform, we also offer our clients unparalleled reach across the length and breadth of India.”
India ranks as one of the fastest-growing app markets globally, where entertainment apps are driving significant consumer engagement.
According to the report, total downloads among M&E categories grew 7% while total sessions grew across all M&E app categories with Entertainment growing by 31%, Music by 81% and News and Magazines by 40%. Games grew by 36% and MX Player recently added a gaming section that hosts high familiarity and easy to learn Hyper Casual Games which users can enjoy even without data or internet access, and play in a competitive format.
Staying true to the promise of providing ‘Everytainment’ - the platform is emerging as the one stop shop for all things entertainment with its best in class offline video playing capabilities, critically acclaimed Original Series, a large online streaming repository of over 1,50,000 hours of premium content including live channels and catch-up TV, audio music and gaming.
Management consultancy Oliver Wyman expects the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to have a lasting effect on the future of work, as remote working and virtual collaboration will increase in Dubai and the Gulf countries, following the crisis.
According to Jeff Youssef, Partner – Public Sector at Oliver Wyman, remote working could be adopted more widely in the economic recovery period and even on a sustained basis, as it provides cost efficiencies to businesses in terms of office space and greater time efficiency, removing commuting time. These cost benefits will help fundamentally soften the impact of the pandemic on businesses when the economic upturn begins.
When an organization wants to tackle a complex problem or have an important discussion, the default is to get the relevant people together in the same room. The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has fundamentally challenged this way of working, from companies imposing travel restrictions on their employees or limiting the size of meetings, to workers self-isolating after returning from affected regions.
As part of the precautionary measures being issued by the UAE authorities to safeguard the health and wellbeing of its citizens and residents, working from home will be a mandatory requirement for most professionals and workers across public and private sector organizations. From 29 March 2020, government entities moved to a 100 per cent remote work system following guidance issued by Dubai Executive Council.
To adapt to the evolving situation, companies and governments are placing more resources into ensuring their sophisticated technological infrastructure can ensure business continuity in light of employee travel restrictions, workers in self-isolation and staying at home to comply with government directives.
The rapid increase in working population who are confined to their homes has resulted in a surge in demand for technology solutions and cyber security that supports remote working. This includes teleconferencing software and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to protect networks and ensure seamless connectivity for the thousands of professionals working from home.
The Middle East and markets around the world are facing growing macroeconomic uncertainty. As the world gets to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, three billion people in paid employment worldwide have a crucial role to play in stopping COVID-19 and reducing its impact on society. Businesses have since developed contingency and continuity plans as governments around the world scramble to approve stimulus packages. The outbreak has depressed global financial markets and had severe implications on trade, supply chains, and economies globally, subsequently deteriorating cash flow in sectors most impacted by the outbreak such as travel, tourism and hospitality.