Mumbai/Bangalore, 7th March 2017: Hotstar, one of India’s leading OTT platforms, and Zapr Media Labs, a Bangalore based media tech company, today announced a strategic partnership to drive the next wave of mobile audience analytics in India. In what is certain to be an exciting development for advertisers and agencies, the two companies will work together to create a deep understanding of mobile audiences that can be leveraged by brands to create personalized communication and offers.
While access to the Internet has been exploding in India in the last few years, especially on the mobile screen, mobile marketing has been constrained till date by the lack of availability of platforms that marry deep user engagement and audience segmentation. While many brands have deployed significant amounts of money on mobile in the last few years, especially through banner and in stream display ads, marketers have been frustrated by the lack of brand building vehicles online that allow them to leverage deep audience analytics. In what is clearly a trail blazing move for digital marketing, the partnership could herald the emergence of more robust audience analytics and better accountability for results in the mobile marketing world.
Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar said, “In the transition from the broadcast world to the digital world, advertisers got a data bonanza but in the process had to give up the ability to engage consumers who are actually paying attention to what they are saying. Hotstar has the opportunity to build the world’s first platform on digital where consumers are engaged and immersed while at the same time delivering deep audience understanding that allows brands to talk to individuals rather than segments. We believe that we have a shot at creating the world’s premier truly personalized advertising service, which benefits both brands and consumers.”
Sandipan Mondal, Co-founder and CEO, Zapr Media Labs said, “We are excited to partner with Hotstar and Star on our journey to build a world-class media-tech company out of India. Over the past few years, Zapr has grown into one of the world’s largest media consumption repositories and audience cross-targeting platforms and this partnership further reinforces the incredible response we have received from our partners across brands, agencies and broadcasters. We look forward to accelerating the pace of our research & development, growing our product portfolio and building a deeper and long lasting relationship with the larger media and advertising industry.”
The strategic partnership is accompanied by a minority investment into Zapr Media Labs from Star. Zapr’s proprietary technology platform analyzes television viewership across 600+ channels in India providing targeted digital analytics and insight into offline consumption behaviour. Zapr has built an analytics platform that combines this proprietary understanding with enriched data that allows advertisers to use it for sharper audience targeting and analysis. Zapr enjoys a strong foothold in the analytics space and as part of the next stage of growth, plans to invest further in R&D and grow the team across cross platform data sciences, analytics and product management.
For Hotstar, the partnership signals a clear intent to evolve from a media startup to a full-fledged technology and analytics company that shapes the next wave of mobile usage and advertising in India. With more than 60 million users in the month of January and a sharp uptick in user growth in the last few months, the platform already boasts of some of the highest daily engagement amongst its followers. The announcement is a big step in the direction of becoming the world’s premier personalized advertising service.
About STAR India
STAR India has defined the Indian media landscape since 1991 and today is one of the country’s leading media conglomerates, reaching approximately 650 million viewers a month across India and more than 100 other countries. STAR generates 20,000 hours of content every year and broadcasts 50+ channels in 8 different languages, reaching 9 out of 10 C&S TV homes in India.
The network’s entertainment channel portfolio includes STAR Gold, Channel V, STAR World, STAR World Premiere HD, STAR Movies, STAR Movies Select HD, STAR Utsav, Star Utsav Movies, Life OK, Movies OK and STAR Plus, India’s No. 1 Hindi General Entertainment Channel. It has a leading presence in regional broadcasting as well, through a bouquet of channels which include STAR Jalsha, Jalsha Movies, STAR Pravah, Maa channels and affiliate channels Asianet, Asianet Plus, Asianet Movies, Suvarna, Suvarna Plus and Vijay. It is also present in the Indian movie production and distribution space through Fox STAR Studios, an affiliate joint venture company.
STAR India is making quantum leaps in transforming sports in the country by leveraging the group’s strengths in superior content and audience engagement. STAR’s sports business has grown rapidly to 10 channel properties (STAR Sports 1, 2, 3, 4; STAR Sports HD1, HD2, HD3, HD4 and Star Sports Select HD1, Select HD2), making it the leading sports network in the country.
STAR is set to drive the agenda on digital content consumption in the country with Hotstar, STAR’s revolutionary digital platform that brings your favourite TV shows, movies and sports in one destination.
STAR India is a fully owned subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.
Hotstar is India’s largest premium streaming platform with more than 100,000 hours of drama and movies in 9 languages, and coverage of every major global sporting event. Launched in early 2015, it is one of India’s most downloaded apps and has attracted more than 175 million followers on the back of a highly evolved video streaming technology and high attention to quality of experience across devices and platforms. The Hotstar Premium service showcases the best line up of TV shows, movies and sports from around the world, including Emmy Award winning shows like Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley, and live sporting tournaments including Premier League and F1 all at a monthly subscription fee of Rs. 199. Hotstar appropriated the top spot on iTunes as Apple TV’s App of the Year for India 2016.
About Zapr Media Labs
Zapr Media Labs was cofounded in 2012 by IIM Ahmedabad batchmates, Deepak Baid, Sajo Mathews and Sandipan Mondal. The company is India’s largest media consumption repository and audience targeting platform. Zapr’s proprietary technology profiles the offline media consumption behavior of millions of people, enabling content owners and brands, for the very first time, to identify their offline audiences and re-engage with them on digital and mobile. Zapr Media Labs was a graduate of the first batch of the GSF accelerator and was backed by marquee entrepreneurs as well as media veterans like Samir Bangara, Rajesh Sawhney, Roshan Abbas, Naveen Tewari, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Rajesh Kamat and Arihant Patni, amongst others. In January 2016, Zapr raised a round of funding from Flipkart, Saavn, Micromax and Ambiga Dhiraj, cofounder of Mu Sigma.