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Paradigm shift in making: Non-metros take to online video streaming

Hotstar's India Watch Report 2019 shows 63% of online entertainment consumption came from non-metros pushing demand for regional content

Sohini Das  |  Mumbai 

Hotstar, online streaming platform

viewership is steadily growing in the non-metro cities in India leading to growth in demand for regional content, revealed the India Watch Report 2019, released by premium streaming platform Hotstar that crossed 400 million downloads this year.

The India Watch Report 2019 is a study of the consumption behaviour and trends based on Hotstar’s consumer base. This is the third edition of the study.

“A paradigm shift is happening as far as viewing habits are concerned. About 200 million people are watching Hotstar without cricket for whatever length of time in a month. Compare that with television where there are 800-900 channels in the country and the total reach of television is about 700 million in a month. The 200 million viewers on Hotstar versus the 700 million on television tell you the shift that is happening and how comfortably and seamlessly consumers in this country have been watching online streaming on mobile phones,” said Star and Disney India Chairman Uday Shankar.

Data drives India. On an average, a user consumes 9.8 GB data per month.

Hotstar saw two times more installations in mobile app compared to last year, about 555 installations per minute in 2019, the company claimed. About 8,000 apps were installed per minute during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 India-Pakistan match.

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More and more people from the non-metros are watching videos online now. There has indeed been a shift in the demographics online, with non-metros accounting for 63 per cent of the entertainment consumption in 2019 compared to 54 per cent in the previous year. Lucknow, Pune, and Patna surpassed Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Kolkata in video consumption. Per capita data consumption in West Bengal and Bihar is more than that of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Female viewership, too, has seen growth from 42 per cent in 2018 to 45 per cent 2019. However, the middle-aged people are yet to get hooked on to streaming, with only 19 per cent of the viewership in 2019 came from people aged over 35 years. It grew over 2018 when only 15 per cent viewers were above 35 years.

Speaking about the report, Varun Narang, executive vice-president and chief product officer, Hotstar, said, “Today, the Indian consumer enjoys a plethora of content to choose from and has moved beyond metro cities, and isn’t limited by gender or language.”

The share of regional content has thus grown by 40 per cent of overall video content consumption comes from regional languages for Hotstar. Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali are the top regional languages. Interestingly, 35 per cent of the Bengali consumption comes from outside the state.

Shankar said online video consumption was no longer an upscale phenomenon, it is for mass consumption. “One has to design for India, the technology, the product, and also the content. The driver of consumption is local. Mainstream drama, sports, and are going to drive content,” he added.

  • Hotstar crossed 400 mn downloads, becoming one of the most downloaded apps in the country
  • It posted 2X installs in 2019 vs 2018, with 555 installations per minute in 2019
  • 63% of the total online entertainment consumption came from non-metros
  • 45% of total entertainment consumption were women viewers
  • More than 40% video consumption came from regional content

First Published: Tue, December 10 2019. 23:12 IST
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