iWorld
Report on Shemaroo

Challenge the establishment to crack digital code: Hotstar’s Ajit Mohan

The campaign 'Torrents Morghulis' led to a dramatic rise of Hotstar Premium subscribers

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/08/06/code.jpg?itok=ByMR_aTm

MUMBAI: Just when India was warming up to the concept of internet on the mobile, Star India came out with its over the top platform Hotstar. Today, it is the top OTT platform in the country and one may think the road to success was entirely smooth. But Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan spoke about the streamer's journey  while speaking at The Advertising Club’s D-Code.

Hotstar was initially a free-ad supported venture when it was launched in 2015 causing rapid growth in users. The challenge was when it had to convince the price-conscious Indian consumer to pay. Indians were so used to free goodies that paying for content was unheard of.

It had just bagged the streaming rights for the popular show Game of Thrones season 6 and came out with a campaign leveraging the lingo of the American fantasy drama. Though it was a great campaign for Game of Thrones fans, the subscription number did not move.

The game changer campaign which makes the Hotstar CEO very proud, was launched during season 7 of the stalwart show. The multimedia campaign titled 'Torrents Morghulis' is a twist on the phrase 'Valar Morghulis' from the show. The meaning of the original phrase “All men must die” was tweaked into “All torrents must die.”

“It clearly communicated the fearlessness of the premium proposition,” Ajit Mohan said. It was not easy to challenge torrents which enjoyed a lot of loyalty and commitment among its users. “…Therefore it was a statement to tell them (torrent users) that not just did we have a better proposition than torrent but torrent was dying,” he added. The campaign led to a “dramatic rise” in Hotstar Premium Subscription numbers.

Mohan also spoke about a campaign from Domino’s which can give valuable lessons to brands. The “classic video campaign” was rolled out during this IPL leveraging Hotstar’s WatchN’Play. While WatchN’Play provided cricket fans to play along with their favourite teams virtually, Domino’s was the first brand to utilise the opportunity. The rule for users was that the points collected from the game help to access Domino’s coupons. 19 million coupons were distributed across the country on the back of this campaign. Domino’s blurred the line between brand and performance according to Mohan.

This IPL itself was a benchmark for Hotstar as 202 million viewers logged on to its video streaming platform to watch the T20 tournament. Moreover, it successfully handled more than 10 million concurrent viewers during the IPL final match.

The man who saw the challenges from the initial days of OTT business in India and built a world-class platform along with his team thinks challenging the establishment is very important, however small a brand could be. A campaign line alone does not suffice to crack digital code without an articulated philosophy. He concludes with, “Look for the truth in humour and the humour in truth.”

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/25/sid.jpg?itok=OnY1auVn
MX Player ropes in Sidd Mantri as senior VP, Product

KOLKATA: Times Group’s premium OTT MX Player has roped in Sidd Mantri as senior VP – product. He will be responsible for driving a differentiated product strategy for all MX Player brand offerings across OTT video, music, games, and short form video platform MX TakaTak. As a part of this role, he...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/24/disney.jpg?itok=_NDS7x46
Disney+Hotstar expected to end 2021 with over 50 million subscribers

KOLKATA: The growth of Disney+ has surpassed industry expectations globally and India has turned out to be the biggest contributor to its stellar performance. The streaming service is set to clock over $ 1.2 billion in revenue and 66 million paying subscribers in Asia Pacific (APAC) at the end of...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/24/lionsgate.jpg?itok=A0iOhXyn
Lionsgate Play launches its first Indian original

KOLKATA: Premium global streaming platform Starz, which launched its Lionsgate Play direct-to-consumer OTT app to a strong response in India last year, is partnering with Lionsgate Television (LGTV) on its first Indian original series, a remake of LGTV’s critically-acclaimed, Golden Globe-nominated...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/24/insta.jpg?itok=2TKG4-oO
Reels now available for Instagram Lite users

KOLKATA: Instagram has just announced an update for the new Instagram Lite app – people will now be able to view Reels within the app. India is the first country where the feature to view Reels will be available to people. 

iWorld Social Media
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/24/mob.jpg?itok=PDx3drKh
Netflix’s new feature enables auto download of recommended content

Along with content, user experience is taking centre stage gradually in the over-the-top (OTT) ecosystem. As users are now exposed to enormous content via a number of platforms, the OTT players are looking at introducing more features to make their experience better.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/24/air.jpg?itok=G5HCgfPB
Airtel partners with Qualcomm for rapid 5G roll-out in India

Last month, Airtel successfully conducted 5G field trials in Hyderabad and announced that it would roll out 5G services in India in select cities by June 2021.  Now, the telco operator has partnered with Qualcomm Technologies for accelerating 5G services in India, the company stated in a regulatory...

iWorld Telecom
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/24/fb.jpg?itok=3FibWbhJ
Facebook to lift news blockade in Australia after deal with govt

Facebook said Tuesday it will lift a contentious ban on Australian news and pay local media companies for content, after a down to the wire deal on pending landmark legislation, the news media bargaining code.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/23/img_23022021_180448_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=WAZ3BUlQ
Disney+ launches Star streaming channel aimed at adults

MUMBAI: Disney+ has launched a new general entertainment service Star in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, giving the company a new streaming outlet for more adult-oriented programming. Disney+ with Star had also been launched in Singapore, the first market where Disney+ has launched with...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/22/voot.jpg?itok=wuwe56yu
Voot launches interactivity for Colors fiction shows

KOLKATA: Viacom18’s advertising-led digital arm Voot has been at the forefront of creating the most diverse interactivity and engagement experiences for its users.  With many categories first concepts, the leading OTT layer has unleashed the power of fandom and bridged the gap between the fans and...

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required