Star India and it's OTT platform plans to release its first original under Hotstar Specials by March end.
Starting March end, Hotstar plans to release a slew of drama shows under the newly announced vertical - Hotstar Specials. The digital video platform has announced associations with storytellers that include Shekhar Kapur, Neeraj Pandey, Kabir Khan, Nikkhil Advani, Ram Madhvani, Venkat Prabhu, Sudhir Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nagesh Kukunoor, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vishal Furia, Rohan Sippy, Debbie Rao, Sharad Devarajan, and Salman Khan.
"Original Content, for us, is a little different. Star creates 100 hours of original content every day and puts it on Hotstar, Star Plus, Tata Sky etc. The big question was as the number of screens in the country are constantly rising, it was roughly about 20 crore screens three years ago and is about 60 crore today. How do we up our game, as far as content is concerned, to be ready for this new world," states Nikhil Madhok, head of Hotstar Original Content.
Jehil Thakkar, partner, Deloitte India believes that apart from the battle for the wallet, there is a fight for smartphone real estate too, "Consumers won't have more than three to four apps on their phones, so whoever can continue to provide fresh content will get the space and the subscription dollars," says Thakkar.
Star India president, head Hindi GEC Gaurav Banerjee said that Hotstar users spend 75 percent to 80 percent of the time on the platform in watching entertainment content. He also stated that the digital format is not constrained, unlike movies or television. The aim of Hotstar Specials is to be mass in scale and not simply play in a niche area. The projects have been in the works over the past six to eight months.
Most of the storytellers this OTT platform has associated with are big names from Bollywood with successful titles. Despite being one of the biggest general entertainment channels on television in India, it did not partner with any of its existing software providers.
Here's wishing team Hotstar all the best and we are looking forward to some great content coming our way.