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Hotstar retains No. 1 spot among video streaming apps in January-June, shows data

LiveMint logoLiveMint 16-07-2017 Vidhi Choudhary

New Delhi: Broadcaster Star India’s video streaming app Hotstar held on to its No. 1 spot in terms of monthly active usage in the first half of this year, followed by JioTV and JioCinema from Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, data from app analytics firm App Annie Inc. showed.

Voot and Amazon Prime Video took up the fourth and fifth positions. All five video streaming apps have retained the positions they held in the last six months of 2016. The first change comes at the sixth position—Sony Liv from Sony Pictures Networks Ltd has climbed from rank seven to six. Data from Android phones were collected for this ranking.

Others in the top 10 are TVFPlay from popular content creator The Viral Fever, Tata Sky Mobile, Netflix and OZee.

Voot from Viacom 18 Digital Ventures has access to Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd’s content library, including shows on its flagship entertainment channel Colors. It has also added originals on the platform including a quirky advertising agency drama, Untag and It’s not that simple, a drama series.

The data indicates local content is key to achieving both scale and volumes on the Internet in India. The Hotstar app has crossed 300 million downloads in India. “Over the last two years, we have built a service that has both an intuitive user experience as well as a compelling content portfolio. Video streamers now see Hotstar as the default destination for the categories we play in today: TV shows, movies and sports. We see tremendous diversity in usage. Different streaming audiences are gravitating towards different parts of the Hotstar proposition,” said Ajit Mohan, chief executive at Hotstar.

In the last one year, the OTT (over the top) Video on Demand (VoD) services have also seen an upsurge. The year 2016 saw the entry of global OTT video leaders such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as the launch of major broadcast network backed platforms, such as Voot (Viacom 18) and OZee (Zee TV).

Other platforms—Hotstar and Sony Liv—consolidated their offerings by launching premium services and a dedicated kids channel, respectively. Telcos too have joined the race. Both Jio and Airtel have streaming apps.

According to Mohan, India’s online video consumption patterns point to affordable data access, consolidation of the overall OTT segment and the impact of technological advancement.

“When consumers have access to affordable data, they will gravitate towards high quality services. As Hotstar, we are benefiting from this separation of the wheat from the chaff. Second, while there is an appearance of a proliferation of services in the OTT space, consumers are themselves quite discerning and are spending a disproportionate time only on a select few services. Third, our focus on technology and using technology to constantly raise the bar on experience is paying off,” added Mohan.

He said that there’s a substantial audience for both international and local content. “And uniquely, for any streaming service in the world, we showcase both the best of local stories as well as the most compelling international content portfolio,” he said. A Reliance Jio spokesperson did not answer calls or respond to emails seeking comment.

In India, the number of video-capable devices and connections are expected to grow 2.2-fold between 2016 and 2021, reaching 800 million in number according to the Ficci-KPMG Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2017. Live video streaming continues to gain traction as an experience and not merely for sports. Currently, the number of OTT players in India is about 30.

In 2016, digital advertising contributed Rs7,692 crore and is expected to expand at a compounded average growth rate of 30.8% until 2021 on the back of increased spends on OTT platforms and increase in consumption of video on line through mobile among other factors, the report said.

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