With Hotstar Specials, Hotstar to become the canvas for the biggest Indian storytellers

The brand of original content labelled Hotstar Specials, scheduled to launch in March, will be behind paywall

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 15, 2019 9:26 AM

Star India is ready with its next big leap in content on the back of its OTT platform, Hotstar, which is frequented by 15 crores daily. The company announced the launch of Hotstar Specials, a content foray featuring shows from India’s most acclaimed storytellers, scheduled for March.The content will be behind the paywall. The directors include Shekhar Kapur, Neeraj Pandey, Kabir Khan, Nikhil Advani, Ram Madhvani, Venkat Prabhu, Sudhir Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nagesh Kukunoor, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vishal Furia, Rohan Sippy, Debbie Rao, Sharad Devarajan and Salman Khan.

With this Gaurav Banerjee, President and Head - Hindi GEC, Star India, hopes Hotstar to become the canvas for some of the biggest storytellers. “We are proud to welcome back Shekhar Kapur. His last Indian film 'Bandit Queen, after that he comes back. We are working with those who have established themselves as the biggest names in Indian entertainment,” he pointed out. This has been in work for the past 6-8 months.

Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India said, “With Hotstar Specials we hope to create the biggest Indian stories delivered to a billion screens. To bring this vision alive, we are proud to partner with a stellar line up of talent who are headlining our first set of Hotstar Specials."

Nikhil Madhok, EVP & Head Hotstar Original Content said, “As the number of screens is exploding from 20 crores in the past three years between cinema, mobile and theatre to 60 screens how can we up our game as far as content is concerned to be ready for this new world? Our approach is Hotstar Specials.”

It will start with drama series which happens to be the most consumed genre on this platform. “The range of drama series and formats we will evaluate under this initiative will be broad. The stories will provide a burst of variety across genres and formats and will be available in seven languages for viewers to consume them in a language of their choice. They will leverage the unprecedented reach of Hotstar to reach the length and breadth of the country and also the global audience,” shared Banerjee who wants to deliver the cinematic experience on this medium.

It will feature an extensive variety of Indian stories, mounted on a big scale, unconstrained by format. As a result Banerjee is only looking at making massy content, “We don’t want them to be niche. We can create an environment where some of the biggest storytellers find it exciting to do their best work with us.”

Facts and figures


  • The finale of the previous IPL tournament was watched by 10 crore viewers on Hotstar
  • Around 15 crores come and watch
  • On daily basis viewers roughly spend about 45 min
  • It has 350 million downloads and over 150mn monthly active users
  • One of its most popular shows ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ is primarily consumed on this platform

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