Following rival JioCinema’s success in attracting millions of viewers with a similar strategy in the cricket-crazy country, Walt Disney Co.’s Hotstar will provide free streaming of cricket tournaments in India on mobile devices.
On Friday, Hotstar announced that it would provide users with free access to both the Asia Cup and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup tournaments.
When JioCinema won the internet rights from Hotstar, it decided to broadcast the Indian Premier League (IPL). It is one of the most lucrative annual sporting events for free.
In the latter part of the year, India will host the ODI World Cup
In the first five weeks of the tournament, the broadcasting joint venture of Indian conglomerate.
Reliance Industries claimed to have clocked a record 13 billion digital views, With every match averaging an hour of viewer time.
“Hotstar lost the IPL rights. Its subscriber base dropped by nearly 5 million users”, according to research firm CLSA.
JioCinema executives have stated that free IPL streaming will continue even though the company is getting ready to start charging users for content.
The most populated country in the world, where smartphones, with an estimated 700 million users, are the main driver of digital consumption, has a cricket-loving population.
“Free cricket offerings, if they are maintained over the long term. It may magnify losses for streaming platforms or lead to consolidation.”
“As many platforms may not be able to survive with lower revenue per user”, Elara Capital analyst Karan Taurani said.
Freemium, a hybrid revenue model relies on both subscription fees and ad sales.
Freemium is the best course of action for streaming platforms in India due to high content costs and fierce competition in the digital advertising market, Taurani added.