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Airtel partners with Hotstar; pushes video streaming to hold subscribers

Airtel’s prepaid and postpaid subscribers will now be able to stream Hotstar’s content on Airtel TV app. Announcing its partnership with Hotstar, Airtel said that Hotstar’s content library of about 100,000 hours of content, in 9 languages, comprising live sports and Indian cinema and TV shows from channels across the Star network will now be available to all Airtel customers for free through the Airtel TV app. This will include shows from 22 channels and over 3000 movies and shows. However, when we checked Airtel TV app, we could only see Star’s live channels streaming, and could not find other listings from Hotstar. We could see content from HOOQ-labeled content in movies and shows, but not any Hotstar-labelled content yet, apart from Star’s live channels.

Note that Airtel TV is a separate app, which already streams about 350 plus LIVE TV channels like Zee, Sony etc, and close to 10,000 movies and shows from India and abroad.

All content on Airtel TV app is free for Airtel Prepaid and Postpaid customers on a promotional basis till June 2018, it said in a statement. It is unclear how Airtel would go ahead about pricing or subscription of Airtel TV.

Airtel push on video streaming

Note that Airtel is adopting multi-forked strategies to hold its customers from going to Jio-which offers host of OTT services. A month ago, Airtel partnered with Amazon India to offer Prime membership for its postpaid users.

Announcing its partnership Airtel said that Airtel Postpaid customers with an Infinity plan of Rs 499 or above (Note that many dual sim users, use Airtel with lowest fee plan to keep it running and use Jio sim for calling and data) will get a one year Amazon Prime membership, worth Rs 999 which includes unlimited access to Amazon Prime Video, as part of their plan benefits (at no additional cost).

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Airtel users can activate the offer only through their Airtel TV app and then download the Prime Video app to avail the deal benefits.

Airtel’s Financials

Airtel’s mobile Internet user base increased by around 5 million, up 7.6% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 70.8 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 (Q3 FY18), from 65.8 million during the previous quarter (Q2 FY18). The telco continues to show recovery from the intense competition, after losing around 7.7 million mobile Internet users in Q3 FY17, which was the quarter after Reliance Jio’s launch. The company however recovered immediately in Q4 FY17 by adding around 2.4 million mobile Internet customers.

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