Hotstar Advertising: 9 Interesting Facts About Hotstar

Hotstar Advertising

Hotstar has recently released India Watch Report 2019. We have compiled a list of facts that would help advertisers understand the audience’s preference for Hotstar and better their ad targeting.

#1: TV Hua Purana, Ab Hai Hotstar Ka Zamaana!

number of TV sets in Indian households

(Figure 1; Image Source: BARC India Universe Update July 2018)
Per capita data consumption in India
(Figure 2; Image Source: Hotstar India Watch Report 2019)

The availability of cheap smartphones and cheaper data has enabled Indians to come online and consume entertainment even in the absence of television. According to KPMG’s India’s Media and Entertainment Report 2019, there are about 637 Mn Internet subscribers in India of which 96% are connected through mobile.

As per the India Watch Report, 95% of the data consumption happens through mobile. We can easily infer from this data that a majority of Indians are skipping TV and desktop to become “mobile-first”.

What Does It Mean For Advertisers?

Figure 1 represents the state-wise TV penetration in India. Figure 2 represents the online data consumption on Hotstar state-wise. If we compare both the reports, we would find that states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha have lower TV penetration, have higher online data consumption pattern on Hotstar.

Advertising Tip: Brands who want to maximize their reach in these states can include Hotstar advertising along with TV advertising as it would guarantee them maximum incremental reach.

#2: Chhote Chhote Shaharon Me Badi Badi Baatein!

entertainment consumption in India

(Figure 3; Image Source: Hotstar India Watch Report 2019)

Last year, the share of video consumption in non-metro cities was slightly higher than that of metro cities. This gap has widened now by a huge percentage. Not only the number of Hotstar viewers in non-metros is higher, but the time spent watching videos is also growing at higher rates in non-metro cities as compared to that of metro cities. The top non-metro cities in terms of Hotstar video consumption this year were Lucknow, Pune, and Patna.

What Does It Mean For Advertisers?

access to internet in India urban vs rural

(Figure 4; Image Source: KPMG India’s Media and Entertainment Report 2019)

The image above tells us that there is a huge gap in terms of internet adoption between urban and rural areas which is filling up very fast. There has been a perception among digital advertisers that these video OTTs are mostly being watched in metro cities. Figure 3 tells us that it’s not quite true.

Advertising Tip: While planning a Hotstar advertising campaign, look beyond the metro cities for location targeting.

#3. Naari Shakti Zindabaad!

Hotstar viewership male vs female
(Figure 5; Image Source: Hotstar India Watch Report 2019)

Hotstar was earlier perceived as a male-dominated platform owing to the dominance of sports live-streaming. However with time, as the platform evolved to add more original content and variety of entertainment, the platform is moving towards achieving a balance between the viewership of both the genders.

Over the last year, there has been a 350% rise in time spent on the platform by women as compared to 220% for men. For women in states of Odisha and Maharashtra, this increase is 550%.

What Does It Mean For Advertisers?

From being a male-dominated platform, Hotstar is slowly moving towards an equal share of viewership between males and females.

Advertising Tip: Look beyond brand awareness campaigns. Apart from video advertising on Hotstar, also add clickable banners to your campaign plan.

#4. Purse Se Digital Wallet Tak!

Hotstar audience affinity
(Figure 6; Image Source: Hotstar India Watch Report 2019)

Hotstar users have exhibited a strong affinity towards other sectors like Technology/mobile, shopping, media & entertainment, food & dining, lifestyle & hobbies, and sports & fitness.

The online shoppers’ base has increased 4X over the year, people are not shying away from checking out, ordering and paying online. The biggest proof is the Swiggy integration in the Hotstar app during Vivo IPL 2019. Swiggy received 18 Million views on their menu during live matches.

What Does It Mean For Advertisers?

Hotstar has always been considered as the best platform for brand awareness campaigns. Hotstar is primarily known for video advertising charged at a CPM basis. Advertisers can also add a performance element to their ads by adding clickable banners.

Advertising Tip: Look beyond brand awareness campaigns. Several brands advertise on Hotstar on Pay Per Click basis.

#5. Gali Gali Me Bengali!

regional language content on Hotstar

(Figure 7; Image Source: Hotstar India Watch Report 2019)

India has a diverse culture with 22 official languages, distributed region-wise. Hotstar supports 7 regional languages apart from Hindi and English. As the data in figure 7 shows, regional content is mostly consumed in the native states.

More than 40% of the total content consumption comes from non-Hindi speaking states. Undoubtedly, Hotstar makes a good platform to target the regional population using either geography or language filters.

What Does It Mean For Advertisers?

Usually, the population categorized on a linguistic basis resides in a particular region but there is a large diaspora of native people who live in other states and metro cities. In order to stay in touch with their roots, a number of migrant people subscribe to traditional media like newspapers and TV channels in their native language.

At several places, it’s difficult to access regional content and with the advent of digital content, regional content consumption in non-native states has become easier. As seen from the data above, 35% of Bengali content consumption happens outside Bengal.

Advertising Tip: Advertisers who want to target the migrant population of any state, can use geography + language targeting. For eg, (Bangalore + Bengali) would target Bengalis living in Bangalore.

#6. Life Me Sabko Chahiye Drama!

Hotstar genre wise audience categories
(Figure 8; Image Source: Hotstar India Watch Report 2019)

There is a popular assumption that men don’t like daily soaps and drama genres. In the case of television, more than 90% of the TV households have a single television set which means men in the house watch serials along with the women.

However, data from Hotstar which is mostly watched on mobile tells us that the percentage of men watching drama genre content is not far behind that of women. Some of the other observations are:

  • Women like romance genre better than men and it doesn’t change across the age-groups
  • More men between the age group 18-34 prefer reality shows
  • Men show higher affinity towards mythology genre

Advertising Tip: Opt for genre targeting based on your target audience demographics

#7. This Koffee (With Karan) Is Hot In Mumbai!

(Figure 9; Image Source: Hotstar India Watch Report 2019)

While Game of Thrones, Ye Rishta Kya Kahlata Hai, Big Boss Tamil seem to be winning the viewership race on Hotstar, one can’t deny the popularity of The Koffee with Karana on Hotstar, especially in Mumbai. Not only this, although the reality genre has few takers in women, 60% of the audience of Koffee with Karan is female.

Advertising Tip: Consider advertising in Koffee With Karan while targeting women in metro cities (or Mumbai only)

#8. Cricket On To Hotstar On!

(Figure 10; Image Source: Hotstar India Watch Report 2019)

Hotstar’s reach during VIVO IPL 2019 was almost equal to the total population of the USA. 65% of the total viewership for VIVO IPL 2019 came from non-metros. One advantage that cricket on Hotstar has is a high level of audience engagement, thanks to its social sharing option and gaming features.

Advertising Tip: Advertise on Hotstar during live streaming of Cricket for a higher level of engagement.

#9. Football Par Phisle, Kabbadi Par Atke!

(Figure 11; Image Source: Hotstar India Watch Report 2019)

In a country known for its Cricket fever, it’s difficult to notice that other sports like football and kabaddi are making their place in Indian households.

There was a 2.1X consumption of Premier League and 1.3X consumption of Hero ISL as compared to last year. Pro Kabaddi League saw a 2.3X consumption this year as compared to last year. The majority of this viewership comes from non-metros.

In figure 11, we can see that football and kabaddi are quite popular in some of the states, thanks to sports events like ISL and PKL. While Football matches on Hotstar are popular in the states of Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, and Maharashtra; Kabaddi matches are watched in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

Advertising Tip: Brands in love with sports should also include annual leagues like Pro Kabaddi League and Indian Super League in addition to the Indian Premier League to deliver a consistent sports-oriented brand image.

Video advertising is the future of digital advertising and OTTs in India are driving this change. Hotstar is one of the most popular OTT platforms in India in terms of both entertainment and advertising.

We hope that the facts discussed in the article would help you as an advertiser to make the best use of targeting options available on Hotstar in the best way.

Let us know your views in the comment section. Would you like to know more about Hotstar advertising? Write to us at


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