Flipkart Reportedly Eyeing Stake In Hotstar

Flipkart is reportedly eyeing a stake in India’s leading video-streaming platform Hotstar (owned by Star India). The e-commerce player aims to diversify its offerings in a bid to take on Amazon, which already has a strong video presence through Amazon Prime Video.

Mint was the first to report this development. However, no specific details of the impending transaction could be ascertained.

It is also notable that Flipkart might have held conversations with Netflix too for a potential video alliance. However, those talks didn’t proceed. Netflix didn’t comment when YourStory reached out to them.

Flipkart’s interest in the burgeoning video-streaming space is a result of the recent success of services like Hotstar, Netflix, Prime Video, and others, and the growth projected for online video consumption in the country.

A recent FICCI-EY report estimates that the number of people accessing online video content in India would reach 500 million by 2020, doubling from its current 250 million. Another joint report by IMRB and Kantar Media projects the OTT subscription market to grow to Rs 4000 crore by 2020.

Hotstar, with over a 100 million active users, is a readymade entry point for Flipkart which is slowly reducing its over dependence on categories like electronics and appliances. In the past, it has also looked at acquisitions in the movie ticketing, food delivery, and hyperlocal services space.

Both Flipkart and Hotstar have not issued any official word on this yet.

Earlier in July, both entities joined hands to launch a Shopper Audience Network – a new video advertisement platform that will allow brands to interact with Flipkart customers through personalized advertising on Hotstar. The platform is estimated to reach over 150 million users across hundreds of categories, both companies announced in a joint statement.

By Hotstar’s own estimates, it has over 350 million followers on its platform, who access more than 100,000 hours of content in nine languages. Flipkart, on the other hand, has a captive customer base of 80 million, and a registered shopper base of over 150 million.

A stake in Hotstar’s OTT service could just be an extension of Flipkart’s advertising partnership. While the latter is aimed at reaching out to more marketers, the former is for expanding its consumer base in times of stiff competition from Amazon. — YourStory

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