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Disney In Talks With Adani, Sun TV To Sell its India Assets According to a news report, Disney is looking at either selling part of its operations in the country or a mix of its assets, including sports rights and Disney+ Hotstar

By S Shanthi

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Walt Disney Co. has held preliminary talks with billionaires Gautam Adani and Sun TV Network owner Kalanithi Maran and some private equity funds to find potential buyers for its streaming and television business in India, including Disney+ Hotstar, said a news report.

The company is exploring its options to sell its Indian operations. Disney is looking at either selling part of its operations in the country or a mix of its assets, including sports rights and Disney+ Hotstar, according to the report by Bloomberg.

The discussions are in the very early stages and a deal may not necessarily materialize, it said, without mentioning anything about any potential deal value.

A Reuters report in July said that Disney was exploring options to sell or find a joint venture partner for its India digital and TV business.

OTT Market in India: An Overview

There are currently about 46 providers of over-the-top (OTT) media services in India that distribute content over the internet, according to a Marketfeed report last year.

It also said that the OTT market is set to become an INR 12,000-crore industry by 2023 at a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 36% (from INR 2,590 crore in 2018). An Eros Now-KPMG report, says that OTT viewer in India spends approximately 70 minutes per day on video streaming platforms, with a consumption frequency of 12.5 times a week!

(Data as of August 2022)

Further, India as a market is very diverse. Apart from Hindi and English, there are around 12 to 14 regional languages in which content is consumed. Close to 1500 feature films are made in a year and there are about 800 channels on TV as well. "It is like a mini continent in itself. And that widens your horizon in terms of offering the different content as per the different language needs. So, in terms of variety, we are a league apart as compared to other nations, and that is the big differentiating factor for India as a market and which is why even in OTT, there are more than 50 channels. There are two market approaches. You can either go to market as a niche, offering a particular language, or you can basically go as a mass market. And when you go mass market, it's very difficult," said Karan Taurani, analyst and senior vice-president, Elara Capital in an interview with us last year.

However, even as video OTT is still figuring out the India market, audio OTT is growing slowly, steadily and ironically very quietly. Within audio OTT, which includes music and non-music formats (podcasts, audiobooks), the most popular genre happens to be film music streaming. But, considering music as a segment has held a significant place in Indian culture with vast genres and availability in many different languages, this doesn't come as a surprise. Platforms like Spotify offer a library of 70+ Mn songs whereas JioSaavn offers 55+ Mn songs and these numbers are growing rapidly. According to a Ficci-EY report, nearly 200 million people streamed music each month in 2021.

S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 


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