Hotstar created a brand new record for online viewership when 11.2 Million people watched the T-20 match between India and New Zealand! No, the big surprise is not that India has millions of cricket fans. The big news is how many people now rely on online streaming. Does this mean that TV is old news? Let us find out!
Hotstar’s performance in India
Star India’s Hotstar had earlier broken the record of 8 million live views on the YouTube video of Felix Baumgartner jumping out of a helium balloon from the Earth’s stratosphere when 10.3 million of its viewers sat down to watch the IPL final of the 2018 season. It’s fitting that this record is broken again by cricket – the most beloved sport in India.
Though on-demand streaming is not new in India – with big brands like Netflix and Amazon Prime doing exceedingly well in this segment – Hotstar offers something that these brands do not. Live sports. The brand expected this offering to help it stand out from the competition.
Interestingly, according to Star India’s MD Mr. Sanjay Gupta, 80% of the viewership in this platform is generated by movies and Tv-shows. Only 20% of the viewership is generated by sports such as cricket, pro-kabaddi, and others. This number may sound small. But what makes their niche offering seem more impressive is the fact that during IPL season, Hotstarmanaged to hit 571 Crore INR. However, one cannot only attribute this to the IPL. Hotstar also has exclusive rights to all of Star India’s content, which accounts for a large chunk of their viewership.
This platform has captured 40% of India’s online streaming market and plans to expand further. According to their own reports, they have over 150 million active users per month and have seen over 350 million downloads so far. As this platform offers free content, it only boasts of 7 lakh paid subscribers, which, in the face of 150 million users, does not seem all that great.
Hotstar’s plans in India
Both, Netflix and Amazon are known for offering their own unique content. While Netflix focuses on shows crafted by well-known Indian directors and writers, Amazon Prime has taken it upon itself to bring India’s comedy scene into the spotlight. It frequently launches comedy specials with India’s leading comics. Taking a cue, Hotstar recently announced its decision to pump in 120 Crore INR into its platform to generate more unique content. Until the #MeToo movement, Hotstar was home to AIB’s On Air with AIB, which was taken down following sexual harassment allegations against Gursimran Khamba. Hotstar was also responsible for the revamp of the beloved Indian show, Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai. Though the reboot did not do as well as the original, audiences were happy to see their favorite characters being silly again.
Original content is always welcomed. Indian audiences have lapped up web series like Mirzapur, Sacred Games, and Lust Stories, and are certainly clamoring for more. We hope that they collaborate with brilliant writers and push shows that inspire, entertain, and engage audiences.