Jio | JioCinema Sets New Global Record for Free Cricket Streaming | IPL 2023
JioCinema, the popular Indian streaming platform, has made headlines by shattering a global record previously held by Disney’s Hotstar. The platform, backed by Viacom18 and investor James Murdoch’s Bodhi Tree, achieved a remarkable feat during the finale of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament. Drawing over 32 million simultaneous viewers, JioCinema broke Hotstar’s longstanding record of 25.3 million simultaneous viewers set back in July 2019.
This momentous achievement reflects the immense popularity of the IPL and JioCinema’s commitment to providing top-notch streaming experiences to its users. The IPL finale, featuring an exciting clash between the Chennai Super Kings and the Gujarat Titans, captivated millions of cricket enthusiasts across India and beyond.
Hotstar’s previous record had remained unchallenged for several years. However, with the shift of the IPL streaming service to a paid format, Hotstar faced challenges in surpassing its own benchmark in subsequent years. This underscores the delicate balance streaming platforms must strike between expanding their reach and generating revenue.
Following a strategic shift, Viacom18’s JioCinema emerged victorious in a fierce bidding war against Disney, securing digital rights for the IPL for a five-year period until 2027. By adopting a page from Hotstar’s playbook, JioCinema aims to redefine the digital streaming landscape in South Asia.
JioCinema has taken an innovative approach by offering free streaming of the tournament to audiences across the region, coupled with the recent rollout of a premium tier. Users now have the option to subscribe to an annual premium plan, granting access to a broader range of content at an affordable price of 999 Indian rupees ($12).
To make its premium offering even more enticing, Viacom18 has struck deals with international entertainment powerhouses Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal in recent weeks. These partnerships are aimed at enhancing JioCinema’s content library and attracting a larger base of subscribers.
While Hotstar faced its share of challenges, Disney continues to find significant success in the streaming space. Broadcasting the IPL games via satellite television in India, Disney garnered an impressive tally of 482 million cumulative views throughout the initial 66 matches, according to data from the industry organization, Broadcast Audience Research Council.
The battle for streaming supremacy in India is heating up, with JioCinema making significant strides and established players like Hotstar and Disney leveraging their strengths to capture a share of the burgeoning market. The IPL’s immense popularity serves as a catalyst, driving the streaming platforms to innovate and provide the best possible experiences for cricket fans and streaming enthusiasts alike.