The future of live viewing has hit the conventional medium hard. Gen next is finding the digital platform more convenient than the giant TV screens to watch Indian Premier League live action. Among 15 year (and above) male category in the cities with over 10 lakh population, digital platform Hotstar is more popular than Sony broadcast network channels.
Hotstar has registered a viewership of 36.4 million during the first two weeks of IPL in the cities with more than 10 lakh population. TV viewership in these cities among 15+ age group population is 34.9 million. The digital data is provided by Hotstar and the TV figures are from BARC ratings. There is no third party monitoring agency for digital viewership data.
During the first two weeks of IPL 10, Hotstar has recorded a reach of 66 million, whereas during the entire season last year, it was 100 million. The platform is expected to breach the coveted 100 million mark much before the league reaches its halfway mark.
“There has been a dramatic increase in the viewership and what used to be a metro phenomenon, has now gone quite deep. This is an inflection point for digital viewership in India,” Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar, hos told Economic Times.
Hotstar has targeted to touch Rs 200 crore in its IPL revenues, mover a 200% jump in its IPL revenues last year. The list of spot buyers has reached 27 for this season.
The digital platform also scores more when it comes to average time spent. On TV, the IPL saw a marginal dip in average time spent, thanks to the addition of afternoon matches in the second week (which see up to 40 per cent lower viewership when compared to prime-time matches). Average time spent per viewer on Hotstar rose from 41 minutes in week 1 to 63 minutes in week 2. On TV, the average time spent decreased from 72 minutes in week one to 67 minutes in week 2.
Hotstar was seen in concurrency numbers, or the number of viewers watching a tournament at the same time. Business Standard quotes Ajit Mohan, CEO–digital, STAR India, as saying: “From 99,000 for the whole tournament last year, we have seen match concurrency rise to 915,000 in April 5 to April 17. That’s almost a 10-time increase in the first two weeks of the tournament.
“ In fact, peak concurrency so far this year has been 1.8 million and we’re only in the initial stages of the tournament.”
The growth was due to multiple factors. While the adaptation of digital as a primary screen has been happening over the past couple of year among certain demographic groups, Mohan says the innovations introduced by Hotstar this year have also helped. “Now viewers can actually see a graph of the number of people watching the match at any point. The graph highlights the peak engagement points so far. And by simply tapping on one of these, viewer can see what was happening in the match back then. It’s a good opportunity for advertisers also to keep track of engagement real time.”