Hotstar, the Indian streaming service set a new world record for simultaneous live viewership. About 18.6 million people logged on to watch the final match of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL). It is a significant milestone and cements India’s position as a highly coveted market for streaming services with its massive population of 1.3 billion people, out of which nearly half enjoy reliable fast mobile internet connectivity. That makes up over 600 million potential customers. Streaming titans Netflix and Amazon currently lead the Indian market in terms of subscription and viewership.
The sport of cricket has an immense fan base in India and is even deemed by many to be something akin to a religion. The love of Indians for cricket is about as fervent as most people’s faith in their religion. In light of this, streaming services have tried to secure streaming rights for the Indian Premier League. Star India, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox and Hotstar’s parent company paid a hefty sum of about $2.5 billion to secure the right to broadcast and stream the IPL.
Disney purchased 21st Century Fox earlier this year for a staggering $71.3 billion and in doing so also acquired Star India. Video streaming is growing to be the next big thing in the media & entertainment industry and many large media corporations are aggressively trying to pursue it. Some of the largest streaming services have even committed huge sums of money to produce their own content.