Star India plans to launch its over-the-top platform Hotstar in other countries over the next few months, a senior company executive said Wednesday.
“This infant service is already becoming a product of habit in the country and now this year, we have set our sights on creating the first global media and entertainment product born out of India, when we take Hotstar to the rest of the world in a few months,” Star India Chief Executive Officer Uday Shankar said at the Ficci Frames event in Mumbai.
He said the numerous and affluent South Asian diaspora, which for the longest time had been frustrated by the lack of access to its favourite content, will be able to watch cricket, movies and other shows through Hotstar.
“While we are satisfied that Hotstar is the pioneer, we are aware that this is a trend that will get replicated again and again, very quickly,” he added.
Hotstar was launched in February last year and has been downloaded over 50 million times.
Shankar said more people watched the popular football tournament English Premier League on Hotstar last year than on television.
Even for cricket, Hotstar’s watch time in the larger cities has now started to reach 50 percent of television, he added.
The digital enterprise provides a platform to have different content from what television offers, he added.
Shankar said there is a tectonic shift happening in the industry and yet, what we see in the world of traditional television is just stagnation, which has been made worse by a state of denial.
“I see an even more obsessive desire to protect the antiquated business models that we have painstakingly built over the years that technology and the youth are decimating like a bulldozer rolling over glass bottles,” he said.
Shankar explained that print companies found it difficult to make the transition to TV and almost all the digital successes generally come from companies that did not exist even a decade ago.
“This is because these are companies and people who are not chained by their legacy businesses. Just imagine where businesses like Netflix, Twitter and Facebook were a decade ago and what global empires they have created in this short span of time,” Shankar added.