Disney+ Hotstar is expanding its footprint in Southeast Asia. The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday that its flagship direct-to-consumer streaming channel will launch on June 1 in Malaysia.
Local consumers will be able to subscribe directly to Disney+ Hotstar for $13.36 (54.90 Malaysian ringgit) for three months, or through special packages with local TV provider Astro. The Malaysian offering of the streaming service will go live with over 800 films and 18,000 episodes, including titles from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and Disney+ Originals.
Disney+ previously launched in nearby Singapore in February, and in Japan, Indonesia and India last year. Rollouts in other Asia markets like South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines and Thailand are expected later this year.
As part of its effort to win local consumers and support the Malaysian industry, Disney said it has entered into a collection of multi-year content deals with leading Malaysian studios, such as Skop Productions, Revolution Media Films, Primeworks Studios, WAU Animation, Act 2 Pictures, Les’ Copaque Production, Red Films and more.
These partnerships will make Disney+ Hotstar the exclusive home to some of Malaysia’s most anticipated new films, which will skip theaters and launch straight on the streaming service, such as J2: J Retribusi, the action sequel to the blockbuster J Revolusi, starring Zul Ariffin, Ashraf Sinclair and Amelia Henderson; Zombitopia starring Shaheizy Sam, Bront Palarae and Sharifah Amani; and Ada Hantu, starring Hairul Azreen. Ejen Ali The Movie 2 will also stream exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar after its theatrical debut.
Malaysian television content included under the agreements includes TV3’s Single Terlalu Lama and Kekasih Hati Mr. Bodyguard, both of which will premiere first on Disney+ Hotstar at 7 a.m. on the same day as the linear telecast, giving drama aficionados exclusive access to the series up to 15 hours before anywhere else. Disney also has licensed several popular, previously released Malaysian series, such as Wifi Sebelah Rumah (featuring Zul Ariffin and Ruhainies) and Semanis Senyumanmu (featuring Daiyan Trisha and Aiman Hakim Ridza).
Malaysian film titles picked up under the package of agreements include: J Revolusi, Tombiruo, KL Special Force, Ejen Ali The Movie, Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal, Munafik, Istanbul Aku Datang!, the Rock franchise (Rock, Rock Oo!, Rock Bro!, and Rock 4: Rockers Never Dai), Talentime, Mukhsin, The Kid From The Big Apple 2, Vedigundu Pasangge, Evolusi KL Drift 1 & 2, KL Gangster 1 & 2, Gol & Gincu 1 & 2, Guang, Redha and Roh.
“Launching Disney+ Hotstar in Malaysia, in collaboration with Astro, is an important milestone for us as we continue expanding our footprint in Southeast Asia to bring our compelling entertainment offering to consumers in the region,” said David Shin, GM at The Walt Disney Company in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. “Malaysians are not only connected but also extremely tech-savvy and they represent some of Disney’s biggest fans in the region.”
Added Henry Tan, Group CEO of Astro: “We are delighted to aggregate the best of the best to be the undisputed entertainment destination for Malaysians. Our customers deserve great entertainment and the addition of Disney+ Hotstar with our much-loved hits, local signatures and unparalleled sports would delight them. Disney+ Hotstar will be available to our customers from 1 June and we are working towards making Disney+ Hotstar available via our Ultra and Ulti connected boxes later this year.”