Disney+ Hotstar to stream health and fitness content; partners with Cult.fit, Sarva, others

With no IPL this year, Disney+ Hotstar is piggybacking on the rising demand for health-related content, partnering with the likes of Cult.fit, Sarva, others.

In a departure from its usual platter of sports and entertainment, Disney+ Hotstar has launched health and fitness content on its platform.

The OTT service has partnered with Cult.fit, SARVA , and Brilliant Wellness to source health and wellness programmes by fitness and yoga experts, spiritual gurus, and nutritionists. Disney+ Hotstar will be streaming 3,000 pieces of content in English, Hindi, and Telugu.

"The category and offerings are aimed at helping viewers monitor and maintain their wellness quotient while quarantining at home, and even after, as and when they resume their normal lives," the company announced.

Disney+ Hotstar, which counts over 300 million users in India, would also be adding Kannada and other local languages to the offering in the coming weeks.

The health and fitness content will be tailored for a stay-at-home population, and aimed at reducing their pandemic-related stress and anxiety. "From workout videos to cooking healthy recipes, the diverse repository of fitness-related content will target advanced fitness enthusiasts, and fitness dabblers as well as fence-sitters," it said.

A company spokesperson added,

“The alliance with these three industry leaders in health and fitness has provided the necessary impetus to our mission to connect with our audience in ways that help them lead happier lives. Health and fitness has become extremely important in our stressful lives, and never more so than today."

Why health and fitness content

Disney+, which had a breakout year in the US in 2019, launched in India in March shortly after the coronavirus outbreak. Its movies library was integrated within Hotstar's existing repertoire of sports and entertainment titles.

However, in the absence of IPL (Hotstar's biggest customer acquisition and revenue vehicle) this year, the upgraded and more premium Disney+ Hotstar has had a slow uptick. But the platform is now piggybacking on health-related content, which has witnessed soaring demand in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Photo: Hotstar

Naresh Krishnaswamy, Growth and Business Head, Cult.fit, said, “With the COVID-19 induced lockdown, we have seen a surge in the number of users on our platform. Since we also conduct online live fitness sessions, we have witnessed a 3X increase in the amount of time its users spend on cult.live. At a time when there is such a demand for health and fitness, the partnership with Disney+ Hotstar will prove to be strategically viable for both businesses."

Brilliant Wellness estimates that there are about 200 million people in India seeking fitness services. The market is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion, and is growing at 10 percent annually.

Adarsh GuptaFounder and Director, Brilliant Wellness, said, “The current pandemic has really brought fitness and immunity building to the top of the agenda. Over the last five years, we have worked tirelessly to create the most definitive library of do-it-along home-based workout content with India’s leading experts that addresses every conceivable need of people."

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta