In February 2018, YouTube with 178 million MAUs was ahead of Hotstar, which stood at 48 million MAUs. However, Hotstar has eclipsed YouTube, which now has 265 million MAUs.
Carrying on from 2018, even 2019 is turning out to be a strong year for OTT platforms, especially Hotstar, which has now gone past the target of 300 million monthly active users (MAUs).
Considered as India’s largest online video platform, Hotstar has seen four times growth since the end of 2017 when it had 75 million MAUs.
In February 2018, YouTube with 178 million MAUs was ahead of Hotstar which stood at 48 million MAUs. However, Hotstar has eclipsed YouTube which now has 265 million MAUs.
While speaking at the Disney Global Investor Summit, Uday Shankar, President of Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific, and Chairman, Star and Disney India, said that Hotstar accounts for 40 percent of all long-form digital content consumed in India presently.
In terms of popularity, last year’s data shows that Hotstar was ahead of all other streaming services in India with 50 percent smartphone users having the app, followed by JioTV and Amazon Prime Video.
According to Shankar, it is the first mover advantage that has kept Hotstar ahead of the curve. But its other strategies like localisation, live sports strategy, its fremium model are some of the reasons why the platform has an edge over others.
However, now even other OTT players are making efforts on the regional front to penetrate deeper in the tier II and III markets.
Recently, Hotstar had launched VIP subscription pack to cash in on the Indian Premier League (IPL) fever by offering live sports and other content for Rs 365 a year i.e., Rs 1 a day and Rs 30 a month.
While Hotstar garnered over 202 million users in 2018 for IPL, for the 12th edition of the cricketing event the platform reached 135 million in the opening three days alone.
According to experts, Hotstar is becoming a preferred destination for viewers which is leading to higher viewership is because of three major reasons - increase in smartphone adoption and 4G penetration, making the digital streaming more engaging and additive via addition of new features like gamification and social and the growing love for IPL - the only sports entertainment event in the country at this scale.And that is why it is expected that IPL 2019 will reach a viewership of over 300 million on Hotstar.