Press Release

Hotstar plans to expand to rest of world in 'next few months': Star India CEO Uday Shankar

30 March 2016

 Star India's video streaming service Hotstar plans to expand to the rest of world "in the next few months", Star India CEO Uday Shankar said during his speech at Ficci Frames 2016 in Mumbai. While Shankar didn't disclose any further details on this expansion, the focus seems to be on the South Asian diaspora. "The numerous and affluent south Asian diaspora which for the longest time has been frustrated by the lack of access to its favourite content will be able to watch cricket, movies and drama through hotstar" Shankar said. We've written to Star India for more details on this and will update once we hear back. Launched in January last year as the single destination for all of its television and sports programming, Hotstar had rolled out its website and mobile site to markets like US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Germany, Malaysia and Singapore among others in November last year. The app however is not available out of India as yet. Hotstar had also noted then that several of its shows would not be available in these countries due to "digital rights restrictions". During his speech, Shankar claimed that Hotstar has crossed 50 million downloads and indicated that live sports has been a major growth driver for the service "More people have watched the English Premier league on hotstar last year than on television. Even for a mass sport like cricket, in the larger cities, hotstar's watch time is now starting to reach 50% of television" he said. Over the past few years, Star India has focused on securing exclusive live streaming rights for key cricketing events like the Indian Premier League, Cricket World Cup, Twenty20 World Cup and Asia Cup as well as other sporting events like the English Premier league and Hockey India league among others. Star India is also slowly ramping up original content on the service through various content formats including comedy and talk shows like On Air with AIB or M for Malishka or creating digital exclusive episodes for TV shows like Is Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon and Badtameez Dil. "There is one thing that will continue to be the same: the power of stories. For those of us who had imagined a world where the so called user generated stories would unseat high quality creativity, the answer comes from the Netflix strategy. Netflix, the challenger to the media behemoths of the west has done so on the back of extremely high quality content, so much so that Netflix's catalogue today represents the absolute best of American television." Shankar said.


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