India may have lost its chance to lift the 2019 Cricket World Cup after they went down to New Zealand in the semifinal, but there was certainly one winner — Hotstar, the streaming platform. While they are yet to share their official figures, the counter on the top right-hand corner indicating the number of concurrent viewers, reached 25.3 million during the most tense moments of the match, which may be their highest ever.
Concurrent viewers in the match between India and New Zealand went up by over 10 million within the span of an hour. Interest in the match, which a lot of people had stopped watching after India was reduced to 92 for 6, picked up after a superb turnaround led by Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja brought India back into the match with his aggressive strokeplay and stitched together a 116-run partnership with MS Dhoni. But after Dhoni got run out, the numbers began to drop.
The World Cup is being streamed in six languages — English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.
The record prior to this was 18.6 million concurrent viewers, which the OTT platform registered for the Indian Premier League final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. This broke the record of 12.7 million concurrent users, which was registered during an earlier game in the same tournament.
With the 12th edition of the IPL, Hotstar aimed to reach 300 million unique visitors, and by the end of the tournament, Hotstar had not only recorded in excess of 300 million users but also witnessed a 74% increase in watch-time as compared to last year.
In this World Cup, over 100 million active users saw the India-Pakistan match, which was its largest-ever single day reach. However, the total users for the semi-final are yet to be known.
"Having achieved a single day platform reach of 100 million demonstrates the indisputable technology prowess that Hotstar brings to the OTT industry. This remarkable achievement has helped us set a new viewership benchmark," said Varun Narang, Chief Product Officer, Hotstar after the India-Pakistan match.
The India-Pakistan match also saw 15.6 million concurrent viewers, which was the highest-ever for an ODI match. According to Hotstar, it marked a 1.7-times increase in average concurrency compared to any other India match.