Disney-owned video streaming platform Hotstar has set a new world record by gathering a record number of viewers for a live event on its platform. May 12 saw the finals of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 and it was streaming live on Hotstar. To watch the finals, around 18.6 million tuned into Hotstar’s official website as well as the application. Earlier, Hotstar had set another record last year as it gathered around 10.3 million viewers.
Besides this, in the 2019’s IPL, Hotstar’s viewership record crossed 10 million viewers three times. According to a Hotstar’s spokesperson, around 12.7 million viewers gathered on to the platform to watch the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. Earlier, Hotstar said that IPL had already garnered around 267 million viewership creating a new record for the platform. In 2018, the record was 202 million overall viewership. Seeing the ever-increasing numbers of concurrent viewership of a single live event shows that how the internet market and viewership in India has increased.
Netflix and Amazon Prime have already set up their own camps to invite more viewers to their platforms. They are constantly producing new and exclusive shows tailored exclusively for Indian viewers. They have also gathered viewers in the recent times, but Hotstar still remains on top. Hotstar, with its local parent organisation Star India have taken streaming right and broadcasting of many cricket series. And seeing what importance the game holds in India, this was a genius move on their part.
Prior to this, in 2017, Star India was owned by 21st Century Fox and it held the streaming and broadcasting rights for the IPL tournament for five years. For this, the company payed around $2.5 billion. Later, Star India was acquired by Disney for a staggering $71.3 billion this year itself. Last month, Hotstar gathered around 300 million monthly active users which was around 150 million in 2018. Comparing it to Netflix and Amazon Prime, each of whom have around 30 million subscribers, Hotstar is miles ahead in the race.
“In the last two years, Hotstar has expanded to three international markets — the U.S., Canada, and most recently, the UK — to chase new audiences. The streaming service is hoping to attract Indians living overseas and anyone else who is interested in Bollywood movies and cricket”, Ipsita Dasgupta, president of Hotstar’s international operations, told TechCrunch in an interview. The streaming service plans to enter more nations with high density of Indians in the next few quarters, Dasgupta said.
And now, Hotstar is even streaming the last season of the popular series – Game of Thrones, adding to its viewership. By the comment of Dasgupta it can be said that, Hotstar is planning to further expand its reaches and add to the viewership not just in India, but to other countries as well. And seeing its massive viewership base, this won’t prove much of a challenge to the Disney-owned streaming service.