Streaming app company Hotstar is in a battle against torrents. Clearly, this will be bloodier than the latest season of Game of Thrones.
This morning, Game of Thrones Season 7 premiered in India exclusively on Hotstar Premium.At the same time, the company launched Torrents Morghulis (Torrents must Die), a campaign across online and offline media, aimed at reducing piracy.
Due to a massive surge in the number of viewers, the service went down for nearly 8 minutes this morning. Enough time for some subscribers to go ballistic on Twitter and for many users to start sharing torrent files of the show.
“Service is fully up now and we are delighted that fans of the show are devouring the first episode on Hotstar Premium,” the company said in a statement.
Since Hotstar is priced at about Rs 199 per month and delivers great value for money with a great many other shows and live cricket matches, torrents are unlikely to hurt the company.
As I’d argued sometime in August last year, Torrents may actually help businesses. Piracy usually happens when it’s hard to access a show or if it is too expensive.
Those who aren’t willing to pay for it right now, might actually convert to subscribers after watching a pirated edition. So here’s a suggestion: stop wasting your energy fighting piracy.
Take it from HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo’s 2013 interview, about rampant piracy of Game of Thrones, in Entertainment Weekly: I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it is a compliment of sorts…The demand is there. And it certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales…[Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network.
Btw, HBO is anti-piracy.
Subscription based video on demand market in India
India’s online video market was about $140 million in 2015, according to research from Media Partners Asia. By 2021, the market could be about $1.2 billion in revenues. Indian online video market is predominantly advertising driven.
Companies like Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon have launched subscription based services. Subscription based video on demand is expected to grow to about $125 million by 2021.