iWorld

Star India adopts Hotstar-only model in US, channels to go off cable TV from 5 January

The decision is bound to drive up Hotstar’s subscription numbers in US

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/12/15/hotstar_800.jpg?itok=65GaDXYC

MUMBAI: There’s a lot happening at Star India at the moment with its integration into the media and entertainment giant Disney underway. A crucial aspect of that arrangement played out on Thursday as president 21st Century Fox, Asia and chairman and CEO of Star India Uday Shankar was named chairman Star and Disney India, and president The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific as part of an international business unit restructuring.

Another interesting development that has taken place at Star India is the bet it has taken to adopt a digital-only approach in the key US market.  Starting 5 January, Star India’s TV channels will be streaming only on Hotstar in the US. The entire Star India network, including Star Plus, Star Gold, Star Vijay, Maa, Asianet and Movies OK, will no longer be available on any cable TV provider in the US including Dish TV, Sling TV, Comcast, Verizon.

While Star is the first major Indian broadcaster to go this route, others will eventually follow suit, an industry expert told Indiantelevision.com on the condition of anonymity, adding that the decision makes 'complete sense' given the current dynamics of the US market.

The phenomenon of cord-cutting which stemmed from the US accelerated rapidly this year. According to a recent report by S&P Global Market Intelligence, 1.2 million people migrated from traditional cable TV in the 3rd (July-September)quarter, one of the worst quarters in pay-TV history. 

Star’s decision could deliver a huge boost to its international OTT arm by driving up its subscription numbers.

“As an innovative and disruptive media company driven by world-class content and technology, Star India is connected with several hundred million viewers all over the world. Every international market is unique, and therefore our business strategy and approach is customised to each region. We strongly feel that in the US, a digital-only approach would best suit the market, and therefore we have decided to make all channels of the Star India Network available exclusively on our digital streaming platform Hotstar, which is the go-to streaming platform for the South Asian diaspora in the US," a Hotstar International spokesperson told Indiantelevision.com.

Earlier this year, a study predicted that the number of cord-cutters in the US would climb to 33 million adults in 2018.

"However, while we have gone ahead with a digital-only approach in the US, in other markets, we believe that the powerful combination of linear TV and digital streaming provides a robust entertainment experience to consumers,” the spokesperson added.

Apart from Star India channels streaming on its OTT platform, properties like the Indian Premier League (IPL) are likely to be available on cable TV through the Fox network, a Star India executive, who did not wish to be named.

Unlike India, OTT subscriptions are much cheaper in the US when compared with DTH and cable. While most of the OTT apps charge $10-15 per month, traditional cable subscription costs close to $80. Moreover, the use of smart TV is a trend that’s on the rise, facilitating a better streaming experience for consumers.

Notably, Hotstar extended its premium subscription in the US in 2017. At the moment, Hotstar's monthly pack is priced at $9.99, while annual pack costs $99.99 in the US.

While Star's super streamer in India is way ahead of its rivals, the move to go digital-only is bound to help it in gaining ground against Netflix and Amazon Prime in the US, in addition to saving the company high maintenance costs of running a television network.

Be it going all-in on Indian cricket, investing early in digital or taking a position against TRAI's tariff regime, Star India under Uday Shankar has always donned an aggressive and innovative approach. The company's latest play in the US is in line with that very template.

(With inputs from Gargi Sarkar)

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/vodaone.jpg?itok=gBjeiFK4
Vodafone Idea board approves raising Rs 25K crore by rights issue

Vodafone Idea Limited has intimated the stock exchanges that its board of directors has considered and aprroved the offer and issue of fully paid-up and/or partly-paid up

iWorld Telecom
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/Sony%20Album%20art.jpg?itok=GRa8oeE8
Amazon Prime Video launches the music album of Prime Original Series, Four More Shots Please!, with music by Mikey McCleary

Following the launch of two stand-out tracks from Prime Original Series Four More Shots Please!, Amazon Prime Video released the show’s original soundtrack album available exclusively on Prime Music.

iWorld Over The Top Services
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/Hungama-Play.jpg?itok=1c9v8wuL
HungamaPlay announces a stellar line-up of the latest Hollywood blockbusters

Hungama Play, a premium video on demand platform owned by Hungama Digital Media, premiered a slew of the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Beginning with the latest and darkest chapter of The Conjuring Universe, The Nun was premiered on 21st January Hungama Play.

iWorld Over The Top Services
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/23/Sundar_Pichai.jpg?itok=ttoHW-Bx
Google promises more transparency in online election ads

Google has vowed to take India specific initiatives aiming at transparency in political advertisements on its platform ahead of general elections in the country. The tech giant will provide details of advertisers as well as money spent on such ads.

iWorld Social Media
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/22/american.jpg?itok=CPzqruF4
Trailer launch of Prime Original series, American Gods S2

We are excited to share with you the trailer for the next season of the Prime Original series, American Gods, which will be coming back to Prime Video on March 11, 2019.

iWorld Over The Top Services
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/21/tantrik.jpg?itok=_R5fwHX4
Q brings eccentricity and oddity to hoichoi with Taranath Tantrik

It’s time to relive the legend through the eyes of a cult director – Q – who is famous for his aesthetically treated content.

iWorld Over The Top Services
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/21/awards.jpg?itok=aK2OEIdT
The premiere edition of the Exhibit Auto Tech Awards is finally here!

Exhibit Magazine, India’s leading supplement on technology, fashion and lifestyle announces the first-ever edition of its much awaited Exhibit Auto Tech Awards.

iWorld Over The Top Services
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/21/zee5.jpg?itok=R_lJjy8_
ZEE5 announces original film veergati this repulic day

ZEE5 has been a forerunner in presenting unique content that challenges one’s beliefs and thoughts. In the past few months

iWorld Over The Top Services
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/21/yaari.jpg?itok=Ed0l3O7F
Amazon Prime Video launches a brand new song for upcoming Prime Original Series, Four More Shots Please!

Dedicated to timeless friendship, Amazon Prime Video has released the latest single from the album of Prime Original Series Four More Shots Please! Singer extraordinaire and popular heart-throb, Darshan Raval, has lent his voice to the ballad, Yaara Teri Yaari.

iWorld Over The Top Services

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories