STAR India’s online video streaming platform Hotstar has more than double its reach (unique viewers) for IPL in the past one year. For all the games played until the play-offs (between April 9 and May 22), 80 million people used the service, compared with 35 million a year ago.
The cash-rich Twenty20 tournament came under STAR India’s digital ambit in 2014 when it was made available on starsports.com. Last year, Hotstar was introduced, helping viewers see the tournament on the new app.
The network seems to be on track to achieve the target of reaching 100 million IPL viewers this year. “We have seen the adoption of Hotstar as primary screen increase significantly among the urban affluent youth. At 80 million (unique) viewers before the play-offs, I expect the platform to add another 15 to 20 million in reach over the last leg of the tournament,” says Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar, STAR India.
Total IPL watch time on the app has gone up by 60 per cent over 2015. The key to increasing the reach, according to Mohan, lies in the data-rich experience. Additionally, the application streams live scorecard and analysis before and after the match, as well as between the innings.
The significance of data lies in the fact that a lot of urban, affluent youth can now be targeted via IPL on Hotstar. “While the numbers are good and we are happy about the growth in reach, what is really important is the profile of the audience we are able to capture. There is an audience out there, which is accessing the IPL exclusively through Hotstar. These are usually young people in the metros with smartphones and access to wifi/broadband, which the advertisers also want to reach out,” Mohan says.
The marketing campaigns seem to have hit the mark as about 80 per cent of the total viewers are below 34. Moreover, 50 per cent of the total viewers are in the age group of 15-24. Apart from the IPL, the traction the app generated during T-20 World Cup this year showed advertisers’ increasing confidence in Hotstar. “For advertisers looking for scale on digital, Hotstar is a logical option. Even in case of movies and drama, the app has high watch time and reach,” Mohan says.
This year, the IPL on Hotstar has four sponsors for the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) including Flipkart, Raymond, Axe Deos and Volini. Other advertisers on the platform for IPL include Lloyd, Hindware, Hero Fincorp, Airtel, and Amazon.