Indian Digital Entertainment Platform Hotstar Launches Streaming Service in UK

UK subscribers can access content in regional languages as well as in English with a monthly or a yearly subscription plan on Hotstar.


Indian mobile and digital entertainment platform Hotstar has launched its streaming services in the United Kingdom, BizAsia reported. The streaming service will provide 60,000 hours of television programming, 2,000 movies, and live coverage of sports properties like cricket, kabaddi, badminton, and hockey.

The service, available at a monthly price of £11.99 and a yearly plan of £59.99, is targeted at the Indian diaspora in Britain.

With the new move, Hotstar owned by Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Star India, has expanded its presence outside India to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Last year, it had shut down the streaming service except in India and North America.

It will live stream all the matches of the upcoming Asia Cup cricket tournament in the United Kingdom as well as the United States.

Hotstar set up a new world record of sorts when over 10 million concurrent viewers logged in to watch the final match of the cricket Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament on May 27 this year. The feat came days after the streaming service broke the earlier record by hitting a record 8.26 million concurrent viewers in the first IPL qualifier match, according to an earlier ETTech reported.

Hotstar will offer programs in Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, and Malayalam that it broadcasts on its Star TV stations in India, according to BizAsia.

Hotstar will be available on advertising-led video-on-demand (AVOD) or subscription-led video-on-demand (SVOD), the Economic Times reported. In India, it competes with Netflix, Voot, Zee5 and Amazon Prime. Recently, Hotstar raised Rs 569 crore from Star U.S. to compete with Amazon Prime.

Earlier this month, Voot, the streaming platform of Viacom18, announced its foray into the United Kingdom.

Since its launch in 2015, Hotstar has been one of India’s largest Over the Top (OTT) platform. It had one million downloads within six days of its launch and doubled that number on the tenth day.

In the 2017-2018 financial year, Novi Digital reported a loss of Rs 389 crore on revenues of Rs 571 crore, as compared to Rs 489 crore loss on revenues of Rs 320 crore in FY17.

Hotstar has about seven lakh paid subscribers in India, according to the Economic Times.

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