Amazon, Netflix getting trounced in India SVOD market by Star India's Hotstar

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Neither Netflix nor Amazon seem to be gaining much traction in India, at least compared to Hotstar. (Netflix)

U.S. SVODs like Amazon and Netflix have made it clear that international markets are vital to their continued growth. But it seems like they’re not catching on in at least one major market.

According to new research from Jana, spotted by Variety, Amazon and Netflix are getting absolutely trounced in India’s SVOD market by Hotstar, an SVOD service run by Star India, which is wholly owned by 21st Century Fox. Hotstar holds 69.7% of the market in India, while Amazon hold 5% and Netflix holds just 1.4%.

Amazon’s and Netflix’s relatively small pieces of the SVOD market in India are significant since both companies have signed exclusive content deals in India to better get a foothold in the emerging streaming market.

VentureBeat points toward several reasons neither Amazon nor Netflix appear to be catching on in India. Hotstar has exclusive streaming deals with Disney, Fox, HBO and Showtime and has recently been offering its service at a discount. In the meantime, Netflix is the most expensive streaming option in India.

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Jana’s data strongly contradict research from Jefferies last year. That firm said 74% of respondents in India who have SVOD services use Amazon Prime Video, while 63% subscribe to Netflix and 41% use both services.

This week, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch told Recode that Hotstar has 145 million monthly unique users and handles 2 billion minutes of watch time each day.

During Fox’s most recent earnings call, Murdoch said that Hotstar is currently experiencing 2.5x growth in watch time of Indian Premier League cricket over the past year.

“To put Hotstar’s scale into perspective, we had 7 million concurrent live streams during a single IPL match this season, which is likely the highest ever for a sporting event on a streaming service in the world,” Murdoch said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.