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Flipkart likely to buy stake in Hotstar: Report

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MUMBAI: Flipkart is taking a leaf out of Amazon’s book. Like its US rival, Flipkart is looking at buying a stake in India’s leading OTT platform, Star India-owned Hotstar, according to a report in Mint.The OTT scenario in India is booming with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video betting millions on the Indian market as well as several domestic ones providing content. Amazon’s US strategy is to get people hooked to shopping through its video content. Flipkart is likely adopting the same method and using content to increase its shoppers.Hotstar was launched in India in 2015 - about a year ahead of streaming giant Netflix and nearly two years ahead of Amazon Prime Video’s debut in the country. The OTT platform remains well ahead of both in terms of its popularity with domestic users.A Hotstar representative denied any such talks with Flipkart, but said it was open to partnerships that can help grow the internet ecosystem in India and beyond, according to the report.Flipkart has already tied up with Hotstar to launch a video advertising platform in July. Hotstar is also one of the internet partners for Flipkart Plus, its customer loyalty programme competing with Amazon Prime.Hotstar has been offering premium content like HBO's Game of Thrones and live-streaming of popular Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket for an annual subscription of Rs 999 ($13.90).Walmart acquired about 77 per cent of Flipkart for nearly $16 billion in what was the US retail giant's largest-ever deal and a move to take on arch-rival Amazon in a key growth market. 

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