India’s love for pirated content is ever growing, with recent technology development 4G and 5G looks like it will continue to grow. All latest movies, series are leaked online, some of them even before they hit the theaters. It directly affects the profit of the movie and hurting the pockets of producers. Many well known producers are now seeking an order from the court to take down illegal movie downloading links. Bombay High Court’s has recently said that watching a pirated movie is not a crime, this is unlikely to stop in the near future. Even though banning of websites like Pirate Bay,Kickass Torrent has some positive impact on the fight against piracy, As we have seen earlier eventually they all come back.
Companies like Voot and Hotstar venturing into the online movie domain in the Indian market, and audiences willing to watch paid, legal content, illegal downloading of pirated content still continues. A little has been done to unplug these host websites or have links to illegal content and file-sharing. Hotstar and Voot are coming with the number of competing ideas to stay in the pirated driven entertainment market.
Hotstar is one of the fastest growing VOD services in the world. It offers a unique product by bringing the best of entertainment and sports together. Both Hotstar and Voot belongs to VOD platform that is Video On Demand platform.
The Hotstar app garnered more than hundred million views during the recent ICC Cricket World Cup and over million views during the Indian Premier League Season, this year. With over fifty million downloads, Hotstar has more than 100 advertisers on the platform. Hotstar viewers can watch the latest episode, which aired on Star channels. Similarly Voot, Which is the digital arm of Viacom 18 airs latest shows from channels such as Colors, MTV. Voot has gained more than hundred million views with its latest TV shows. Voot is available across the globe in all international markets, including the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Australia and other countries.
Hotstar and Voot have bigger worries as they also have to go against the likes of Netflix and Amazon, which are US based giants as both of them also produce their own content. Netflix is different from Hotstar, YuppTV and Voot in terms of content. The latter is mostly about replicating the content that we already have on TV, which includes links to live feed. While Netflix and Amazon have their own content and loyal customer base. Netflix has already launched its first Indian arm, but with limited content. This move from Netflix has surprised and disappointed many Indian fans.
Following footsteps of Netflix, Hotstar is now nurturing the growing demand of content from the Indian masses, Hotstar came up with ‘Hotstar Premium’, a service with a monthly subscription. Hotstar seems to have made a masterstroke to attract users to its paid subscription service and also to set itself above other streaming services in India. Hotstar Premium’s library has been specially designed keeping in mind the likes and dislikes and detailed analysis on what is preferred by its audience. Hotstar might have won the starting battle as they have 10 times more subscriber base than Netflix India. Besides Netflix and Amazon, many applications such as YuppTV, nextGTV will be challenging a place in the Indian market against Hotstar and Voot.
Besides these problems, there might be enough space in the Indian market to make a profit for both Hotstar and Voot. Their life will definitely be easier by solving the piracy problem in India. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for these Online applications based on VOD platform.