The Mukesh Ambani-led Viacom18’s JioCinema has seen 5 crore new app downloads during the opening weekend of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after deciding to stream the T20 tournament for free. The OTT platform said it clocked over 147 crore video views during the first weekend and attracted 10 crore new viewers. Viacom18 acquired the digital streaming rights for the cricket tournament for INR23,758 crore ($3.2bn) for the 2023-2027 period. As per a report by brokerage firm Elara Capital, free IPL streaming could help JioCinema compete with YouTube India and Facebook in the digital video advertising market. According to the news article, Disney+ Hotstar lost 3.8 million subscribers in the October-December quarter of 2022, which was its biggest-ever quarterly loss, after losing the rights to stream IPL and F1.
Additionally, the platform has also stopped streaming HBO content. The article suggests that JioCinema’s move to stream IPL for free could give it an edge over its competitors in the digital video advertising market, including Disney+ Hotstar, which seems to be struggling at the moment. Netflix is shifting its focus in India from creating original TV shows and movies to producing tent-pole films with a more mainstream appeal. This move is seen as an attempt to increase the streaming giant’s subscriber base in India, where it has faced stiff competition from local players and has struggled to gain a foothold in the market. Netflix’s Indian originals have received mixed reviews and have not been able to generate the same level of buzz as some of its global shows. By focusing on high-profile films with well-known actors and directors, Netflix hopes to attract a wider audience and increase its appeal in the Indian market.