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Hotstar and Akamai create internet history

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MUMBAI: Hotstar, India’s leading premium streaming platform, leveraged Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the world’s most trusted and largest cloud delivery platform, to create streaming history on 22 May 2018 during the first qualifier match of VIVO IPL 2018. The match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings attracted an unprecedented 8.26 million peak concurrent viewers tuning in simultaneously to witness the nail-biting finish, thereby breaking all previous records in online video streaming across the world. Over four hours, more than 26 million viewers tuned into Hotstar to watch the match.

The previous record is believed to have been established by YouTube when Felix Baumgartner’s space jump in 2012 saw a peak of just over 8 million concurrent viewers tuning in to watch the event.

Hotstar’s steady march into the record books started in 2017, when it recorded a peak concurrency of 4.8 million simultaneous viewers during the India-Pakistan ICC Champions’ Trophy final match, the highest in APAC at the time. The opening week of Vivo IPL 2018 upended this record with 5.5 million concurrency recorded on 10 April, followed by the next peak of 7.1 million on 25 April. The peak seen during the ICC Champion’s Trophy Final was nearly doubled during the VIVO IPL 2018 match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings. With all sports streaming records broken, the next frontier was to go beyond just sports and raise the bar on streaming as a whole.

Commenting on the historic development, Hotstar, CEO, Ajit Mohan added, “Four years ago, when we started streaming IPL, 8 million viewers would have been a big deal for the whole tournament. Crossing 8 million simultaneous users is a testimony to the power of VIVO IPL and evidence of the abiding passion of cricket fans. It is not just about the scale, however. It is about reinventing the sports experience online and constantly raising the bar. Our objective is to create the future of social TV. And we are proud that the tech that we are building is expanding the frontiers of online video.​”

Akamai Technologies, Vice President, Media, APJ, Parimal Pandya commented, “Over the past year and a half, Hotstar has broken several online viewing records at the regional level. A contributing factor was technology from Akamai playing a role in bringing down the latency drastically so users can enjoy the live action almost as well as people watching it on their television. This is a clear indicator of the fact that, driven by technology from Akamai, live sporting action can be enjoyed on a smartphone which is the new frontier for audience engagement and growth.”

VIVO IPL 2018, now in its final week, to be concluded on Sunday 27 May 2018, is the fifth year that Hotstar is streaming the tournament. The current edition of the tournament marks a sharp upgrade in viewing experience, with additions like WatchN’Play, a skill based game that tests the cricket fans’ knowledge as they watch, VR to really immerse the viewer in the on-field action, and feeds available in 8 languages.

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