Hotstar, India’s largest premium streaming platform, released India Watch Report 2019 today – a comprehensive study of online video consumption behaviour and trends. Based on Hotstar’s pan-India consumer base, the third edition of the report presents revelatory insights on how evolving content preferences, progressive gender shifts, and increasing accessibility continue to shape the modern Indian digital consumer.
At the launch event, Uday Shankar – The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman of Star and Disney India in a fireside chat with renowned TV Personality Faye D’souza. He spoke about how Hotstar has grown over the years and today Sports and regional content are the driving force.
“The economy is on the growth path, one thing we shouldn’t forget that Television in India is very big and for us as Star it is big, bigger, as but more than the financial highs the creative and the talent in television that has enabled us to build our digital business. We will continue to be very focused on TV and there is headroom for growth and the content is travelling from television to digital and vice versa and we will continue to focus on it”.
On the question of measurement, he felt that the only impediment is the measurement,” Legacy TV measurement system is not doing justice. There’s an issue with credibility, there’s lack of data, which is widely extrapolated, mutilated and whatnot”, we need to create a currency which is scientific, robust, and transparent and gives complete visibility to the stakeholders. BARC viewership numbers are based on tracking devices installed in thousands of homes across the country and are then extrapolated to get the overall figure and the extrapolated data may not paint a real picture when OTTs can provide the exact number of viewers to advertisers”.
Shankar, attributed Regional growth as the driving force for this platform and how the rate of growth in the regional languages is much higher, compared to English. Hindi language consumption is huge because of the demographics but other regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam has grown massively. One of the biggest advantage Hotstar has is the massive library of local content, which Star has produced every day for so many years.
Elaborating on the cricket broadcasting plans, Shankar said that cricket is the present and it will remain so in the future. “Cricket is an expensive business and we never shied away from taking expensive routes.”
In his closing comment, Uday said, “Digital is the future for entertainment and separating digital, and TV is the biggest mistake the industry could make. There will be over a billion screens in this country in the next 4-5 years, of which only quarter-billion would be television while three quarter billion screens will be mobile. It will be a fatal error to see them differently. They are coming closer every day and they are overlapping in the consumer’s hand. To survive in business we must see them as overlapping media”.