Disney + Hotstar reduces net loss for FY20 to Rs 361.8 crore; income increased by 45%

MUMBAI: Novi Digital Entertainment, the holding company of video streaming service Disney + Hotstar in India, reduced its net loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 thanks to a 45% increase in revenues.

According to the company’s filing with the registrar of companies, Novi Digital’s net loss before tax was Rs 361.8 crore, lower than a net loss of Rs 554.38 crore in FY19.

Total income was Rs 1,628 crore, compared to Rs 1,123 crore in the previous fiscal year. Total expenditures, meanwhile, rose 18.6% to Rs 1,990 crore, from Rs 1,677 crore a year ago.

Disney + Hotstar, which follows a hybrid model in India – with both advertising and video-on-demand (VOD) services with subscriptions – witnessed a 56% increase in ad revenue and a 32.6% increase in revenue from subscriptions.

Advertising income was Rs 974.23 crore in FY20, up from Rs 622.75 crore in the previous fiscal year, while subscription income increased to Rs 618.79 crore from Rs 466.64 crore in FY19.

The company’s license fee increased by 46% to Rs 722.53 crore, from Rs 493.84 crore in the previous fiscal year.

The biggest jump in expenditure was in rights program costs, which increased 79.4% to Rs 328.65 crore, from Rs 183.22 crore in the previous fiscal year.

The company has cut its advertising and promotion spend to Rs 286 crore, from Rs 402.5 crore in the previous fiscal year.

Disney + Hotstar has a paid subscriber base of over 26 million as of last December. The company offers two annual plans: Rs 399 (VIP) and Rs 1,499 (Premium).

According to sources, less than 15% of paying subscribers have opted for the Premium plan.

Overall, the company claims that the OTT app has been downloaded by more than 400 million Indians and that the company has claimed more than 300 million monthly active users.

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