Hotstar, one of India's leading OTT platforms, and Zapr Media Labs, a Bangalore based media tech company, today announced a strategic partnership to drive the next wave of mobile audience analytics in India. In what is certain to be an exciting development for advertisers and agencies, the two companies will work together to create a deep understanding of mobile audiences that can be leveraged by brands to create personalized communication and offers.
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 availability 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. In what is clearly a trail blazing move for digital marketing, the partnership could herald the emergence of more robust audience analytics and better accountability for results in the mobile marketing world.
Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar said, “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. 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.”
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 into Zapr Media Labs from Star. 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. Zapr enjoys a strong foothold in the analytics space and as part of the next stage of growth, plans to invest further in R&D and grow the team across cross platform data sciences, analytics and product management.
For Hotstar, the partnership signals a clear intent to evolve from a media startup 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 and a sharp uptick in user growth in the last few months, the platform already boasts of some of the highest daily engagement amongst its followers. The announcement is a big step in the direction of becoming the world’s premier personalized advertising service.