Since its launch in 2017, the Bengali over-the-top (OTT) platform Hoichoi for the first time has revealed its subscriber base.
The platform in three years has got on board as many as 1.3 crore subscribers from across the globe.
Compare Hoichoi’s subscriber base with national OTTs. Video streaming platform Disney+Hotstar has at 86.3 lakh paid subscribers, Amazon Prime Video has 44 lakh paid users and Netflix has 40 lakh subscribers in India now.
Also, it is important to remember that these platforms offer content in English, Hindi and regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, among others.
“Every year we have doubled and tripled in terms of revenue, engagement on the platform. We expect to see this growth for the coming years,” Vishnu Mohta, co-founder, Hoichoi, told Moneycontrol.
What is interesting about Hoichoi’s user base is that 40 percent of its subscribers are from international markets.
“We had started as a global launch, and the good part was that SVF (SVF Entertainment, a media and entertainment company) was already connected with 8 to 9 million people on the social media. So, we could leverage this existing property,” he added.
Mohta said the platform started with around 20 percent of overall revenue and subscribers from international markets. "Bangladesh came along last year. That again led to a
second-level growth. Also, Bangladesh is in its early stage of digitisation where data cost is still high. So, I see another fillip of growth happening when data costs drop there. Also, the country has a bigger diaspora of Bengali people when compared to India,” he added.
Along with significant growth in subscribers, Hoichoi is strengthening its content portfolio.
“We have made 20 to 25 shows every year from the beginning. So, that is roughly two shows a month. October onwards we are going to have at least three shows a month. We are focusing on marquee projects for longevity in terms of IP,” said Mohta.
The platform has over 60 originals and 50 World Digital Premieres. Hoichoi has also launched a fresh slate of 25 new originals, two First Day First Show films and multiple World Digital Premieres for the upcoming year.
Another interesting aspect is the time spent on the platform by users. A Hoichoi subscriber spends 50 minutes a day on the platform.
In addition, a Parental Control feature will soon be added on the platform which comes with Hoichoi being among the top 17 OTT platforms of India who have signed up for a unified self-regulation process with IAMAI for classification and demarcation of content available on all video-on-demand apps and websites in India.