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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Hotstar- Shaping A Digital Revolution



Star’s stellar television viewership has been complemented by the digital streaming service—Hotstar. In just 4 years since its launch, Hotstar has grown to become the largest curated content digital video service in the country.

The Beginning- When Hotstar launched, India was world’s second largest voice market, but considered generations away from streaming on mobile internet. Poor availability of broadband, high cost of data, low penetration of smart phones and high price sensitivity were the reasons for this. However, Star put its might behind Hotstar, offering all its drama across multiple Indian languages, all its films and sports on the platform for free.

In just 6 days of its launch, Hotstar saw a million downloads, which was the fastest ramp up for any digital service globally. Today, Hotstar provides more than 100,000 hours of entertainment in over 18 languages, coverage of major global sporting events and engages more than 150 million unique viewers every month.

Leading the Tech- Hotstar is leading the charge not just with its content but also with its robust technology backbone. The platform has set new benchmarks in video quality that ensures continuous video playback even in the most network-constricted environment. Video technology optimisations have enabled device-adaptive video streaming that adjusts itself to deliver the best possible video quality with the available bandwidth. 

Addressing critical consumer pain points of high data costs and large-scale unavailability of broadband data, Hotstar allows people to download its content on Wi-Fi for offline viewing.

In September 2018, the entire platform was brought in-house, eliminating dependence on third parties. The technological backbone of the platform is driven by a 100+ team of high-quality engineers in India. This is the largest tech team for any traditional media company in India.

Key Facts About Hotstar :
▪ Launched in early 2015 it is one of India’s most downloaded apps and has attracted more than 400 million followers on the back of a highly evolved video streaming technology and high attention to the quality of experience across devices and platforms.

▪ It was named one of the most popular apps of 2017 on Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store

▪ Hotstar was the first Indian service to cross 100 million downloads on the Google Play Store.

▪ During VIVO IPL 2018, Hotstar hosted 10.3 million video viewers simultaneously. This was the highest ever concurrency for any digital video platform anywhere in the world. With this feat, IPL on Hotstar surpassed the previous record of 8 million concurrent users that YouTube reported on its platform on the live-stream of skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumping from near-space to the Earth’s surface.

▪ With the launch of the game ‘Watch ‘N Play’ during IPL 2018, the platform has now gone just beyond video to provide an unmatched engaging experience to its viewers

▪ Sporting tournaments, including Kabaddi and Cricket, had streamed on Hotstar were streamed in 3D Virtual Reality, giving users a 360° view of the action, an unprecedented innovation in Indian sports.

▪ In 2017, Hotstar first launched its service in US and Canada, followed by UK in 2018. With this, the company took its first steps in taking Indian stories and Indian language content to viewers across the world.

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