Hotstar notches up 200 million views in IPL 8

This is the app's second major boost from cricket this year after it drew 340 million views during the cricket World Cup

Vidhi Choudhary
Updated5 Jun 2015
Hotstar has the digital rights to the IPL till 2017. Photo: Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times<br />
Hotstar has the digital rights to the IPL till 2017. Photo: Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times

The eighth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) ended in triumph not just for champions Mumbai Indians, but also the mobile streaming app Hotstar. With over 200 million views, Star India Pvt. Ltd’s app notched up a threefold jump from 61 million views in the last season, said the company.

It’s Hotstar’s second major win with cricket this year. The app drew 340 million views for all 49 matches of the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup, as the 50-over tournament’s 2015 edition became the largest sporting event on digital media.

Now, Hotstar has consolidated its position in the shorter 20-over format of the game.

“This is well beyond our expectation. The figures tell us that the action is quickly moving to the mobile screen,” said Ajit Mohan, head of digital at Star India.

“The popular cricket carnival garnered record views on digital, right from the opening day itself. Hotstar in itself is fast becoming an established screen for content consumption, as mobile becomes the preferred screen for consumers. That reflects in the IPL numbers,”

Hotstar has the digital rights to IPL for a three-year period ending in 2017. The advertiser base for IPL-8 grew nearly 200% to 62 brands compared with 21 brands brands that advertised on Starsports.com in IPL-7. Brands advertising this year included Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Housing.com, Arvind Brands, Samsung, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Levi’s and Karbonn. “Many brands came back with different campaigns for multiple brands under their portfolio encouraged by eyeball benchmarks.”

Media buyers estimate Hotstar made 50 crore in advertising revenue in IPL-8, a 25% increase over the last season. “They have got this viewership because of the event and not because of the platform. Events of this magnitude help to get more traction,” said Basabdatta Chowdhuri, chief executive of Platinum Media, a part of Madison Communications Pvt. Ltd, a media buying agency.

Hotstar not only streamed all 60 IPL games, it also created sports shows for the tournament, including a made-for-digital pre-show called 20-Minute 20-Second Twenty20. In addition, it extended its weekly show, Juicy Half Volley, launched for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

“A lot of the consumption is coming from Hotstar’s original content although live content remains the largest benchmark in terms of viewership,” said Mohan.

Launched in February, Hotstar is a digital platform with content across sport, TV shows and movies in seven languages. With over 20 million downloads, the application has seen the fastest adoption of any mobile digital service in the world.

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