New Delhi: Leading broadcaster Star India Ltd’s digital streaming platform Hotstar and Zapr Media Labs, a Bengaluru-based media tech company, have announced a strategic partnership to drive the next wave of mobile audience analytics in India.
The two companies will work together to create a deep understanding of mobile audiences that can be leveraged by brands to create personalized communication through advertising and offers. The first set of consumer analytics data will be shared with advertisers in the coming few weeks.
While access to the internet has been exploding in India in the last few years, especially on the mobile screen, mobile marketing has been constrained till date by the lack of platforms that marry deep user engagement and audience segmentation.
While many brands have deployed significant amounts of money on mobile in the last few years, especially through banner and in-stream display ads, marketers have been frustrated by the lack of brand building vehicles online that allow them to leverage deep audience analytics, Star India said in a statement.
In what is clearly a trail-blazing move for digital marketing, the partnership could herald the emergence of more robust audience analytics beyond attributes of age and gender and better accountability for results in the mobile marketing sector.
“In the transition from the broadcast world to the digital world, advertisers got a data bonanza but in the process had to give up the ability to engage consumers who are actually paying attention to what they are saying,” Ajit Mohan, chief executive officer (CEO) of Hotstar, said. “Hotstar has the opportunity to build the world’s first platform on digital where consumers are engaged and immersed while at the same time delivering deep audience understanding that allows brands to talk to individuals rather than segments. We believe that we have a shot at creating the world’s premier truly personalized advertising service, which benefits both brands and consumers.”
Hotstar crossed 200 million downloads at the end of February.
Sandipan Mondal, co-founder and CEO, Zapr Media Labs, said, “We are excited to partner with Hotstar and Star on our journey to build a world-class media-tech company out of India. Over the past few years, Zapr has grown into one of the world’s largest media consumption repositories and audience cross-targeting platforms and this partnership further reinforces the incredible response we have received from our partners across brands, agencies and broadcasters. We look forward to accelerating the pace of our research & development, growing our product portfolio and building a deeper and long lasting relationship with the larger media and advertising industry.”
The strategic partnership is accompanied by a minority investment in Zapr Media Labs by Star India. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Zapr’s proprietary technology platform analyzes television viewership across 600+ channels in India providing targeted digital analytics and insight into offline consumption behaviour. Zapr has built an analytics platform that combines this proprietary understanding with enriched data that allows advertisers to use it for sharper audience targeting and analysis.
For Hotstar, the partnership signals a clear intent to evolve from a media start-up to a full-fledged technology and analytics company that shapes the next wave of mobile usage and advertising in India.
With more than 60 million users in the month of January, the platform already boasts of some of the highest daily engagement. The announcement is a step in the direction of becoming a personalized advertising service.