Mumbai: Star India has restructured its video streaming service Hotstar into two verticals to support its growth plans. As per the revised structure, the streaming platform will now have two Business Verticals. The first will be an Advertisement driven video on demand (AVOD) and other will be Subscription driven video on demand (SVOD), which will be headed by Executive Vice President level Business Heads.
The Consumer and revenue lead in the company, Prabh Simran Singh, has been elevated to the position of EVP and business head of SVOD division, while senior VP and chief marketing officer Sidharth Shakdher has been elevated to the role of EVP and business head of AVOD division, the source said, adding that Singh has the mandate to build the subscription business on the lines of Netflix. All the three will report to Ajit Mohan, Chief executive of Hotstar.
Hotstar had received Rs 516 crore in funding in July from Star US Holdings, and has plans to increase investment in original content. The same month, Star India had named Nikhil Madhok as EVP and content head for originals.
Hotstar had a very good first quarter, thanks to the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, now the question is how to retain subscribers. While catch-up TV has good traction, it is all free and retaining customers in absence of original content is a tough task. While Hotstar remains one of the most popular over-the-top (OTT) services with the highest number of downloads, it is also burning cash at a much faster rate. In the June quarter, thanks to IPL, Novi Digital, which runs Hotstar, reported revenue of Rs 569 crore and operating loss of Rs 37.96 crore.
However, for the financial year 2017-18, revenue stood at Rs 571 crore while loss was Rs 389 crore. In FY17, Hotstar’s loss stood at Rs 489 crore on a revenue of Rs 320 crore, as per RoC data. In FY16 and FY15, losses were at Rs 409 crore and Rs 77.1 crore, respectively.