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Rahi Soningra

Rahi Soningra

Contributor at LifeBeyondNumbers
I read and write about Technology, Politics, Life, and Travel.
Rahi Soningra

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The way we consume content in India has evolved a great deal in recent times as digitization has paved way for a number of online video streaming platforms. One such platform is Hotstar, which has been making and breaking records since the time it was launched.

An online video-on-demand service platform, Hotstar is a one-stop destination for Over-The-Top (OTT) video consumers. Owned by Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Star India Private Limited, the app offers more than 50,000 hours of TV and movie content across Hindi, English, and six regional languages.

hotstar

Launch of Hotstar

When it was launched in February 2015, Hotstar became an instant hit. It was launched with the aim to revolutionize content consumption in India using mobile. At the time of the app launch, the Internet speed in India was very low. Hence, the developers designed the app in such a way that the video streaming was possible even at a low speed of 50 kbps.

In 2015, video watching in India was largely dominated by YouTube. However, Star spotted an opportunity in offering the latest movies and shows to the consumers. Apart from this, rolling out the app just before the beginning of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and live streaming major international sports events proved to be a significant mark in the app’s success story.

Its freemium model was immensely popular and that’s what worked in India better than some of the other video content platforms. The app offers some content for free while some content is paid. The subscription fee was also priced at a lower rate compared to major competitors. Besides, the Hotstar go solo ad campaign that was launched in the same year boosted the app’s growth.

Records Created By Hotstar

It has been creating milestones since its inception. Here are some of the feathers in its cap:

  • Within just a week of its launch, Hotstar achieved 1.5 million downloads and topped the list of free apps on Google PlayStore. Major apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter took 10 months, 2.5 months, and 12 months, respectively to cross the one million mark.
  • In the first 40 days of its launch, Hotstar app downloads reached 10 million.
  • In just one and a half years, the number of downloads crossed 72 million; while it took nine years for Netflix to reach 75 million.
  • It received a whopping 100 million followers during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 as against 41 million during IPL 2015. Video engagement also jumped to 4.5 billion in 2016.
  • Among the cricket lovers above the age of 15 years, living in the six largest cities of India and belonging to Social Economic Classification (SEC) segments A and B, Hotstar received higher viewership than TV during IPL 2016.
  • Hotstar downloads crossed the mark of 175 million in January 2017.

The future for this trailblazing way to watch your favorite TV shows, sporting events & more is looking bright! To know about the people behind the success of Hotstar, watch the video here.

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