IPL 2019 is said to have fetched 300 million viewers for the Disney-owned OTT platform, growing from 202 million in 2018. This is not the first time that Hotstar has set a global record in live streaming.Sohini Mitter
Another IPL final, another record smashed.
Homegrown OTT service Hotstar recorded 18.6 million concurrent viewers on its platform during Sunday's IPL final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. The viewership came from both mobile and desktop platforms.
This is a new global record in live streaming as Hotstar surpassed its own peak of 10.7 million concurrents during IPL 2018 final, and of 12.7 million concurrents in a round-robin game on March 28.
In fact, this year, Hotstar managed to breach the 10-million mark quite a few times during the 50 days of the league. Earlier, in April, the Disney-owned service announced that IPL 2019 had garnered a viewership of 267 million within the first three weeks itself.
Streaming in English, Hindi, and six other regional languages allowed Hotstar to expand its reach, and record a 74 percent growth in watch-time in IPL 2019.
The tournament fetched over 300 million viewers, Hotstar announced in a statement. (Last year, it had recorded a viewership of 202 million.)
While Hotstar is yet to make an official announcement, Uday Shankar, Chairman of Star and Disney India, recently revealed that the platform has crossed 300 million monthly active users, and now accounts for 40 percent of all long-form digital content consumed in India. It is the country's most accessed video platform, ahead of even YouTube, which has about 265 million MAUs.
In statement to the media, Varun Narang, Chief Product Officer, Hotstar said,
"The achievements of this season once again bear witness to Hotstar being the most preferred sports destination for the country. With technology as our backbone and our all-round expertise in driving scale, we are confident we will continue to break global records and set new benchmarks with each passing year."
In order to increase viewer engagement this IPL, Hotstar had also rolled out several interactive features under its 'Watch N' Play' section. It even partnered with consumer startups like Swiggy, PhonePe, Amazon Pay for the same.
'Watch N' Play' went on to engage a staggering 64.4 million users, who answered 1.2 billion game questions, and sent over 5.9 billion emojis and 43.5 million comments.
Besides the IPL, virally popular entertainment shows like Game Of Thrones are powering Hotstar's growth. At present, the OTT platform houses more than 100,000 hours of content across drama, movie, sports, and news. There is original programming too, branded under Hotstar Specials.
The platform's next big event is the ICC Cricket World Cup which starts May 30.
Story updated on May 14, 2019.