India’s JioCinema Oozes Confidence as Salman Khan-Hosted Reality Show ‘Bigg Boss OTT’ Draws Record Numbers (EXCLUSIVE)

Reality show “Bigg Boss OTT,” the Indian adaptation of the “Big Brother” format hosted by Bollywood star Salman Khan, has broken records for streamer JioCinema.

The show was available as a free 24-hour live stream. On Aug. 14, some 23 million viewers streamed the season finale live, per data provided by JioCinema, hitting a peak concurrency of 7.2 million.

Overall, the season had more than 100 million viewers with an aggregate watch time of 30 billion minutes. Excluding sports, these numbers mark the highest viewership for a livestreamed event in India. Including sports, the record is held by the hugely popular Indian Premier League (IPL) — which streamed free on JioCinema this year — and scored a total of 17 billion viewers and peak concurrency of 32.1 million.

Some 250 million viewer votes were received when voting opened for 15 minutes for the top two finalists of “Bigg Boss OTT.” In all, there were 5.4 billion votes during the season and 55 million users engaged with the show’s interactive features.

“The kind of numbers that it has delivered this time, the kind of viewership is just staggering,” a senior JioCinema executive told Variety. “In the entertainment space, this seems to have been one of the biggest in the world, and by a mile in India.”

Some 25-30% of the viewership was on connected TVs and the rest on mobiles, in a market that has more than 600 million smartphones. While the audience was across segments, “Bigg Boss OTT” viewership enjoyed more numbers from the Tier 2 mass and heartland market than the top tier.

JioCinema, owned by Viacom18, which is controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, has been around since 2016 but came into its own earlier this year. A Viacom18-led consortium paid $3 billion for five years of IPL digital rights, outbidding Disney in the process and made this year’s tournament available free of charge on JioCinema. The approach is consistent with Jio’s tactic in the mobile telephony market, where it grabbed market share by entering with a free-of-charge offer, then started charging as the cheapest available service, before hiking again to charge the going rates.

Currently the only part of JioCinema that is charged is its premium service, which houses Max and Warner Bros. content. The international content is available at a competitive annual price of INR999 ($12). There are no plans at the moment to begin charging for the Indian content. “Right now, it’s very early days for us, and we’d like to stabilize what we’ve put out into the market, and then evaluate any opportunities as we go along,” the JioCinema executive said.

Content enhancement in the premium service is being mulled. “We’re not even three months old after the IPL has gotten over. So, time will tell. There’s a lot of learning that’s going on on the platform. It’s just phase one for us. So, too early to tell about the future. But, we’re very happy with the outcome so far,” the exec said.

India’s streaming market leader Disney+ Hotstar shed 12.5 subscribers recently, something that is of no concern to JioCinema. “Forget whether it’s Disney+ or any other service, I think what we have [at JioCinema] really is a service which allows every Indian to come and consume us. I don’t think whether other platforms gain subscribers or lose subscribers, that it really has an impact on us,” the executive said.

“We’re very confident of our product, we have a different kind of an offering, we have a very high-quality offering for every kind of audience across the country. And we’ve unlocked access for the entire country, because it is our vision that we should be accessible to every Indian and be a part of every Indian household. So, I don’t think it’s one versus the other, to be brutally honest.”

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article