HBO Max has taken the primary steps in direction of an India launch, with WarnerMedia asserting Friday that it has appointed Disney veteran government Amit Malhotra because the managing director for HBO Max in Southeast Asia and India. Malhotra is now chargeable for HBO Go that’s at present out there in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam — HBO Go will likely be upgraded to HBO Max in these territories. Malhotra may also assist WarnerMedia discover a “potential future launch” in India, the American large mentioned in its announcement.
At present, HBO Max has no direct-to-consumer presence in India. Whereas sister unit HBO — it shares the title however is a separate entity — has a deal in place with Disney+ Hotstar, HBO Max has largely not bothered to deliver its content material to the South Asian market. The one main exceptions are Justice League Snyder Lower (which was provided by way of video-on-demand companies similar to Apple TV, BookMyShow Stream, and Google Play Films), and Associates: The Reunion (that was offered to probably the most unlikely of candidates in Zee5). Outdoors of that, there are a few HBO Max films on video-on-demand.
“I’m delighted to be a part of the unbelievable crew at WarnerMedia in Asia as we have a look at bringing HBO Max to this area,” Malhotra mentioned in a ready assertion. “WarnerMedia’s manufacturers together with DC Universe, HBO and Cartoon Community are extraordinarily widespread with passionate followers and audiences throughout this area. With a deal with customers our aim will likely be to deliver all of those manufacturers and content material collectively in an thrilling new world class streaming expertise as we transfer into the long run with HBO Max.”
Malhotra spent 17 years at Disney previous to this, beginning off as a gross sales director in Mumbai. He moved to Hong Kong in 2007 and served because the VP of program distribution for the APAC area. Since early 2012, Malhotra has been established out of Singapore — additionally the APAC house for WarnerMedia — the place he has labored in content material gross sales and distribution for South APAC and the Center East, earlier than elevating to change into the nation head for Singapore and Malaysia. Most lately, Malhotra was the regional lead for Disney+ in Southeast Asia and helped launch the streaming companies Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar, and Hotstar. Now, he will likely be doing the identical factor for its rival WarnerMedia.
Johannes Larcher, worldwide chief for HBO Max, added: “With our upcoming launch throughout Latin America on June 29 and our plans for Europe on the horizon, we flip our sights towards Asia, the place we now have an unbelievable alternative to deliver HBO Max to tens of millions of recent followers who’re simply as enthusiastic about streaming as our audiences within the U.S. Amit’s expertise launching streaming companies in each mature and rising markets throughout Southeast Asia and the encompassing area make him the best chief to plan and oversee the rollout of HBO Max and its expanded content material providing and platform expertise.”
HBO Max launched solely within the US final Could — it has 40.6 million paid subscribers there since — and can start its first main growth later in June in 39 territories throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Later in 2021, HBO’s current streaming companies in Europe will likely be upgraded to HBO Max, a course of that can replicate itself later in Southeast Asia. The wording for HBO Max’s India launch — “exploring doable alternatives” for a “potential future launch” — suggests we’d nonetheless be a way off earlier than it arrives right here.