Disney+Hotstar FY21 net loss widens to Rs 600.8 crore; income up 5%

Novi Digital Entertainment, the holding company of video streaming service Disney+Hotstar in India, has posted a net loss of Rs 600.8 crore for the financial year ended March 31st, 2021, compared to a net loss of Rs 361.8 crore in the previous fiscal.

The company has seen its revenue growth slowing to 4.9%, while expenses increased by 15.8% year-on-year.

Data accessed from business intelligence platform Tofler shows that Novi Digital’s total revenues were at Rs 1670.6 crore in FY21, compared to Rs 1593.02 crore in the previous year.

Expenses, meanwhile, stood at Rs 2304.8 crore, up from Rs 1990.58 crore a year ago.

Disney+Hotstar, which follows a hybrid model in India – with both advertising as well as subscription video-on-demand (VOD) service – saw subscription revenues overtaking advertising in the fiscal, as the latter saw a 14.8% drop. Subscription revenues, however, went up by 34.3%.

Ad revenue stood at Rs 829.7 crore, down from Rs 974.2 crore in the previous fiscal, while subscription revenue went up to Rs 830.96 crore, from Rs 618.79 crore in FY20.

The company also reported revenue of Rs 9.93 crore from licensing of content rights, which was nil in the previous fiscal.

On the expense side, the company more than doubled (67.7%) its spends on advertising and promotions to Rs 479.6 crore, compared to Rs 286 crore it spent in the previous year.

Rights and programming cost during the fiscal saw a 22% jump to Rs 397.6 crore, compared to Rs 325.98 crore.

Meanwhile, the licence fee at Rs 708.61, witnessed a 2% drop compared to Rs 722.53 crore in the previous year.

As of March 31st, 2021, the company’s net debt was at Rs 1002.3 crore.

The company did not reply to ET’s queries.

Disney+ Hotstar’s paid subscriber base stood at 46.4 million as of July 3rd.

During the last fiscal, the company offered two annual subscription plans – Rs 399 (VIP) and Rs 1,499 (Premium). Effective September 1st, Disney+Hotstar has started offering three annual plans – Rs 499 (mobile only), Rs 899 (Super) and Rs 1499 (Premium).

Overall, the company claims that the OTT app has been downloaded over 400 million times and it has 300 million peak monthly active users.

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