Flipkart and Hotstar launch Shopper Audience Network to deliver better value to video advertisers

20th Jul 2018
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The new platform stands to leverage Flipkart's rich customer data and Hotstar's significant reach in video advertisements. 

Two of India’s most-prominent internet firms - Flipkart and Hotstar - have entered into a partnership to launch Shopper Audience Network - a new video advertisement platform that will allow brands to interact with Flipkart customers through personalised advertising on Hotstar.

The platform is estimated to reach over 150 million users across hundreds of categories, both companies announced in a joint statement.

Shopper Audience Network will use “deterministic audience-based insights” to help brands connect with users by leveraging Flipkart’s understanding of the shoppers’ purchase journey and Hotstar’s massive reach in video ads.

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Prabh Singh, EVP, Hotstar, said in a statement:

“In Hotstar, marketers today have access to a large scale audience that is deeply engaged and paying attention. Brands that advertise on Hotstar are seeing the power of that engagement. The partnership with Flipkart will build on this proposition and provide marketers an opportunity to connect the dots to hundreds of product categories on Flipkart.”

Shopper Audience Network will equip brand marketers with the right tools to measure the impact of their digital ad campaigns. Tools and data analytics will lead to better insights, and thus, improved targeting. This will not only reduce wastage in the marketer’s ad spends, but also prevent redundancies for the viewer by displaying only the relevant ads.

Prakash Sikaria, Senior Director, Flipkart, stated:

“These insights help marketers in their ad journey on our platform. This partnership further leverages the intent-based understanding and couples it with Hotstar’s platform to create an unparalleled offering in the ads industry in India.”

Hotstar is India’s leading video-streaming platform and is ahead of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc. by a mile. A study by Counterpoint Research pegged Hotstar’s monthly user base at 75 million at the end of 2017. In contrast, Prime Video had 11 million subscribers and Netflix had five million only.

Unlike Prime Video and Netflix, though, Hotstar operates on a ‘freemium’ model that allows users to access content for free. The Counterpoint report further revealed that Indians largely prefer free, ad-supported networks like Hotstar as opposed to uninterrupted, ad-free viewing pioneered by Netflix.

By Hotstar’s own estimates, it has over 350 million “followers” on its platform, who access more than 100,000 hours of content in nine languages. Flipkart, on the other hand, has a captive customer base of 80 million, and a registered shopper base of over 150 million. It has access to swathes of shopper data that includes their location, gender, buying propensity, category affinity, and so on.

It is this rich data set that brands can utilise for campaign optimisation and delivery through Hotstar. Shopper Audience Network will provide “a highly-optimised and measurable, brand-safe environment for all advertisers - addressing a big gap that marketers have been seeking to fill for some time,” the companies stated.

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