Hotstar unveils stellar originals slate | Programming | News | Rapid TV News
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Star India’s market leading streaming service Hotstar has tied up with 15 filmmakers, including Bollywood royalty Salman Khan and Shekhar Kapur, to produce a raft of original content.

Hotstar logo 15 Jan 19Ready for streaming at the end of March, the exclusive content will rival that being made by US streaming giants Netflix and Amazon in India, as well as other popular domestic streaming services such as ZEE5 and AltBalaji.

India’s online video services are expected to add 25 million subscriptions over the next five years, exceeding 35 million subscriptions by the end of 2022, according to research from IHS Markit.
The Hotstar originals will be available in addition to the series, films and premium sports events licensed from its parent 20th Century Fox. Predominantly dramas, they will cover seven languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.

“With the mobile phone leading an explosion in the number of screens in our country, we feel that our content also needs to reinvent and boldly move forward,” said Sanjay Gupta, managing director, Star India.

“With Hotstar Specials we hope to create the biggest Indian stories delivered to a billion screens. To bring this vision alive, we are proud to partner with a stellar line up of talent who are headlining our first set of Hotstar Specials.”

The other filmmakers involved in the initiative are Neeraj Pandey, Kabir Khan, Nikkhil Advani, Ram Madhvani, Venkat Prabhu, Sudhir Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nagesh Kukunoor, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vishal Furia, Rohan Sippy, Debbie Rao and Sharad Devarajan.

Hotstar is India’s largest over-the-top (OTT) video platform, with 350 million downloads and over 150 million monthly active users. In 2018, Hotstar’s premium service was expected by IHS Markit to grow its Indian subscriber base by 60%, accounting for 25% of all online video subscriptions in the market.

Streaming Star Plus and the Star network’s range of local language general entertainment channels – as well as movies produced or acquired by Fox Star Studios – Hotstar’s popularity has also been boosted by prime sporting content including Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket and Pro Kabaddi.