Cricket World Cup highlights just how big video streaming is in India

TechCrunch | 6/24/2019 | Staff
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As hundreds of millions of people turn their attention to the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup tournament, many of them are using an Indian streaming service to follow the ins and outs of the game.

More than 100 million users tuned in to Hotstar, an on-demand streaming service owned by Disney, on June 16, the day India and Pakistan played a league match against each other. That’s the highest engagement the four-year-old service has clocked on its platform to date, it said in a statement today.

Hotstar - % - Viewers - Metro - Cities

Hotstar said about 66% of its viewers came from outside of big metro cities, an equally remarkable feat that illustrates the growing adoption of the streaming service in smaller cities and towns that remain sporadic consumers — if at all — of internet services.

To be sure, these 100 million users are not paying subscribers. Hotstar offers five-minute streaming of live events to users at no cost. The platform, which competes with Netflix, Prime Video, AltBalaji, Zee5, and YouTube in India, declined to share its paying subscribers base. In April, the company said it had 300 million monthly active users.

Game - India - Pakistan - Nations - History

It also helps that the game between India and Pakistan, two neighboring nations with a long history, remains one of the most anticipated events for cricket following countries.

Cricket itself has emerged as the biggest driver of video streaming in India in the last three years. The game is followed by hundreds of millions of users across the globe — if not more. In 2010, Hilary Clinton urged nations to look at cricket as a model for improving relationships with other countries.

Model - Challenges - Skill - Dedication - Teamwork

“I might suggest that if we are searching for a model of how to meet tough international challenges with skill, dedication and teamwork, we need only look to the Afghan national cricket team,” she said as U.S. Secretary...
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