UPDATE (8:40 PM): Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia has got back to us and explained what actually going on. Read further to find out.
ORIGINAL STORY (1:14 PM):
One of the biggest questions from yesterday’s Malaysia launch of Disney+ Hotstar was how much was the service going to cost after the initial RM54.90 for the first 3 months runs out.
That question seems to have been answered now after movie reviewer @zhafvlog discovered the following pricing in the Apple App Store listing of the Disney+ Hotstar App.
If the above listing is final (which we believe it should be), the monthly renewable Disney+ Hotstar subscription for Malaysia will cost RM11.90 a month, RM54.90 for 3 months and RM62.90 for a year. Looking at the prices, we believe that the quarterly option will be eventually reduced to below RM35 a month (or removed entirely) to make it a more attractive option compared to the monthly subscription.
The annual plan, which works out to around RM5.24/month puts it almost on par with the additional RM5/month Astro is charging its Movie Pack subscribers to gain access to the Disney+ Hotstar catalogue. Astro’s sign up page which was struggling to handle the load from eager customers trying to redeem their Disney+ Hotstar login credentials seems to still be struggling with issues this morning.
We have reached out to Disney+ Hotstar representatives for confirmation on the above pricing and will update this article once we receive an official reply.
UPDATE (8:40 PM):
Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia has got back to us and provided this answer to our query:
At present, there is only one plan for consumers in Malaysia who are subscribing directly from Disney+ Hotstar, which is RM54.90 for three months.
The monthly and annual pricing reflected in the app is the pricing for Indonesia.
Those who are not familiar with Disney+ Hotstar pricing in other markets, you may found the explanation rather odd. For context, here is the app’s listing on iOS App Store for the Indonesian market:
The fee structure is indeed identical to those on the Malaysian iOS App Store. Additionally, the Disney+ Hotstar Indonesia monthly fee is equal to around RM 11.26 while the listed quarterly and annual fee is around RM 57.46 which are not far off from what we have seen on the Malaysian listing.
All in all, the explanation from Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia seems to check out. That being said, we did notice something else not long after we published this story.
Take a look at this screenshot:
Captured on iPhone, the account on the left belonged to Astro customers while on the other side is a user with the standard Malaysian account. Considering the calculation that we mentioned earlier, this seems like a plausible reason why the Disney+ Hotstar Annual plan is listed by the iOS App Store in Malaysia despite it not being offered to the public.
However, we still couldn’t figure out any other reason for the Monthly plan to be listed there by the service. Looking at the official answer by Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia that we shared earlier, it is what it is for the time being.