IPL 2019: Hotstar to focus on gamification, social media

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Hotstar has set major goals for the Indian Premier League 2019. Star groups video on demand platform is aiming to better the 10.7 million concurrent viewership mark recorded during the IPL 2018 final between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Hotstar’s strategy for the IPL 2019 is to make the streaming more engaging and addictive with a focus on gamification and social. “It’s been quite a phenomenal journey over the last few years for the platform. We are super excited for the upcoming IPL season starting 23 March. We want to make IPL even more compelling and addictive. We think that gamification, as well as social, are two big areas that will make the enjoyment of sports even more than it already is,” Hotstar chief product officer Varun Narang has said at an Indian Federation for Sports Gaming panel discussion.

The platform last year had contributed 22% of the total 700 million-plus IPL 2018 audience on Star Sports Network. The overall number is quite significant when compared to 790 million overall sports broadcast content consumers in the country. Of this, cricket amounts to over 740 million.

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Improvement in internet connectivity, gradually declining data costs and increasing penetration of smartphones has led to rapid growth in online and on-the-go consumption of live sports content in India.

Star India has been quick to adapt to the digital environment and managed to leave competitors behind in the Jio-led telecom revolution.

“We built a game (Watch‘N play) that was based on some principles and tens of millions of users played and enjoyed it. We are super thrilled to take the next step and are looking for really cool filters that are built around IPL games. We looked at the entire spectrum including fantasy leagues, a percentage of engagement in fantasy leagues with NFL which is the largest fantasy league in the world,” Narang has stated.

The number of users on fantasy sports platforms is expected to cross 100 million by 2020.

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