Regional content accounted for 40 pc of Hotstar traffic in 2019, sports scaled "unparalleled heights"

Hotstar crossed 400 million installs in 2019 as regional language shows and live cricket drove viewership and user engagement.

India's leading video-streaming platform Hotstar released the third edition of its India Watch Report today.

The annual study, which tracks video consumption patterns of India's OTT users, found that regional content contributed to 40 percent of all videos streamed on Hotstar in 2019. This was primarily driven by non-metro users, who lapped up the platform's rich bouquet of Indian language shows and films.

"Non-metros are outstripping metros in terms of video consumption and regional content has grown to account for 40 percent of overall content consumption," Hotstar stated.

In the entertainment category, as high as 63 percent of the total video consumption came from non-metros. Lucknow, Pune and Patna surpassed Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Kolkata in video consumption, Hotstar revealed.

Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali were the top regional languages. In fact, Bigg Boss Tamil ranked as the most-watched entertainment show ahead of all Hindi TV shows.

Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India [Image Credit: Getty Images]

Interestingly, not just women but even men emerged as big consumers of family "dramas".

"In 2019, men showed as high affinity to family drama as women with more than 40 percent of family drama viewers being men, breaking the long-held belief that such genres don’t appeal to them," Hotstar stated.

During the year, Hotstar app downloads crossed 400 million riding on the season finale of Game of Thrones, the ICC Cricket World Cup, Indian Premier League, and other marquee properties.

Installs grew 2X during the year, with Hotstar recording 555 installs per minute. Content consumption increased 3X over last year.

Sports streaming continued to be Hotstar's trump card.

It reached "unparalleled heights" in 2019, registering a 300 million-plus platform reach during the IPL, and peak concurrency of 25.3 million viewers during the India's semifinal match against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Varun Narang, EVP & Chief Product Officer, Hotstar, said,

The accelerated growth of the Indian video entertainment ecosystem has had an unprecedented impact on the consumer. Today, the Indian consumer enjoys a plethora of content to choose from, has moved beyond metro cities, and isn’t limited by gender or language. More importantly, this growing accessibility has opened doors to new thoughts and ideas that are shaping a stereotype-defying consumer."

Not only views, but Hotstar also managed to improve user engagement on the platform.

According to the India Watch Report 2019, 64 million viewers participated in Watch ‘N Play during the IPL. That is a 2X increase over last year. Additionally, six billion emojis and 44 millions comments were shared live during IPL matches.

"Consumers today want a voice of their own, and the opportunity to interact with others and express themselves. As a result, online viewing is transitioning from a passive experience into an immersive and social one," Hotstar stated in the report.

(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)