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Uday Shankar, President The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman of Star and Disney India believes that gamification a...
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Hotstar wants to take the idea of Watch ‘N Play beyond IPL and sports

Uday Shankar, President The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman of Star and Disney India believes that gamification a...
  • Hotstar is going to focus on bridging the gap between the platform and its viewers by focusing more on interactive content.
  • Uday Shankar, President The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman of Star and Disney India is confident that both interactive content and gamification will play a key role in Hotstar's next phase of growth.
  • The idea is to give its audience a place where they can share their voice and opinions.

For a while now, OTT players have been experimenting with interactive content and gamification. Remember when Netflix got the world talking with its experimental movie, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, where viewers could decide the course of the story? The success of the experiment might be debatable but it got consumers talking, and brands sitting up and taking notice. Uday Shankar, President The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman of Star and Disney India however believes that gamification and interactive content is the way forward, and shared that Hotstar will be focusing on it, to not just break the clutter but also create another touchpoint for reaching out to its audience.

During the VIVO IPL 2019, Hotstar saw some impressive engagement around its interactive game Watch ‘N Play that opened up a two-way conversation with its viewers. According to data that the platform shared, around 64 million viewers (2X of VIVO IPL 2018) participated in the game. During the course of the tournament, close to people used close to 6 billion emojis to express themselves while around 44 million comments were shared live during the matches.

For Shankar, this presents a massive opportunity. Speaking at the launch of Hotstar’s India Watch Report 2019, he said that content consumption is a social initiative where consumers want to have a voice and express their opinions. He added that content where viewers can talk to the platform and gamification will help them bridge that gap and help them grow.

“We have created a false notion that TV audiences just want to sit with their hands folded and watch content. It so happened that they did not get the opportunity. The same audience, when they go to a sports arena or a cinema hall claps, whistles and hoots. We want to give the same level of engagement to people who are watching content on a screen. We have realized that people want to have a voice. We will be very focused on offering an increasingly evolved package of connectivity with content where users can interact, communicate and share. That is going to be a very big part of our roadmap ahead,” he said.


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