NEW DELHI :
Non-metros made up 63% to the total entertainment video consumption on Hotstar in 2019, the Star network’s subscription-based video-on-demand service in India, busting the myth that video streaming is meant for the elite in the country’s biggest cities.
The figure has risen dramatically from 54% in 2018, according to India Watch Report 2019, a study of online video consumption behaviour and trends released by the service on Tuesday.
Further, the growth in time spent per viewer this year compared to last was 2x in non-metros versus 1.6x for metros. Lucknow, Pune and Patna have beaten metros like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata in video consumption over the year. In fact, even data consumption per user is higher in states like Bihar and West Bengal compared to Maharashtra and Karnataka. Sixty-five percent of the total consumption during the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League came from non-metros.
“Today, the Indian consumer enjoys a plethora of content to choose from, has moved beyond metro cities, and isn’t limited by gender or language. More importantly, this growing accessibility has opened doors to new thoughts that are shaping a stereotype-defying consumer," Varun Narang, executive vice-president and chief product officer, Hotstar, said in a statement.
Until a few years ago, online entertainment was restricted to the urban affluent, Uday Shankar, president, The Walt Disney Company APAC, and chairman, Star and Disney India, said in the report. “However, we now see newer horizons of customer reach, with non-metro towns driving online consumption. Digital viewership among women has also grown by leaps and bounds. Moreover, Hotstar’s pan-India consumer base reveals how each person has unique and individual choices. The new Indian consumer is breaking old stereotypes and defying conventional wisdom."
Hotstar has registered over 400 million downloads this year, with twice the number of installs as last year and 555 installs per minute. Video consumption has tripled since 2018, with the number of video viewers increasing 1.5 times and the time spent per viewer doubling.
Women account for 45% of entertainment consumption, up from 42% in 2018. Video consumption among women has gone up 3.2 times in 2019, with 3.5x growth in time spent watching cricket (as compared to 2.2x for men). In their own way, men are also breaking norms—40% of the viewers of family dramas are men, with Hindi language TV show Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai being the most watched show among the group. In fact, contrary to popular belief, men don’t dislike TV serials at all. Their interest in family (even higher in some cases—7% for men in the 18-24 and 25-34 age group versus 6% for women in the same age groups) and mythological (8% for men in the 25-34 age group as compared to 4% for women) shows is on par with women.
More than 40% of the video consumption comes from regional languages, with Tamil, Telugu and Bengali emerging as the top ones, and Bigg Boss Tamil being the most watched entertainment show, with 1.5 times the consumption of the top Hindi language television show, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. Regional languages are also breaking geographical barriers—35% of the total Bengali consumption happens outside the state. During Chennai Super Kings IPL matches this year, Tamil consumption doubled, while there was a 1.6x jump in Bengali consumption during Kolkata Knight Riders matches.
While there has been a 2.5x increase in entertainment consumption, the consumption of news has grown 10 times as compared to last year.
Sports continues to be the platform’s main play with IPL 2019 bringing in reach of more than 300 million, 1.5 times the reach of IPL 2018.