Internet Goes Mainstream – Hotstar and Akamai Shatter Another Ceiling

The eleventh edition of the VIVO IPL 2018 wrapped up with a historic flourish. Hotstar, India’s leading video streaming platform, leveraged Akamai Technologies’ cloud delivery platform to soar past 10 million concurrent viewers and finish the tournament with a peak of 10.3 million simultaneous users.

While this season of the VIVO IPL has featured multiple high points – with Hotstar breaking world records during the past two months – Sunday’s match marked a new milestone.

VIVO IPL 2018’s final match was broadcast in eight languages on 10 TV channels across the Star network, as well as Hotstar on Sunday 27th May. The 11 different feeds were all available on demand on Hotstar. The service breached the 10 million mark two balls before the Chennai Super Kings claimed their trophy for the third time in the tournament’s history.

In addition to being a resounding testimony to Hotstar’s technology backbone and the strength of Akamai’s media delivery platform, Sunday’s match is evidence that mobile video has indeed gone mainstream.

Commenting on the development, Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar, said, “When we launched Hotstar in 2015, the belief was that mobile video would be dominated by short form user generated clips. We were constantly reminded that the Internet was not yet ready for hosting big television events. And many digital platforms were pushing the narrative that the future of advertising would be very different from classic television that marketers would move towards ‘skip’ ads and ‘zero second’ ads. We were sceptical of this narrative.

“What is remarkable about Sunday’s milestone is that it busts these myths emphatically. Thoughtful technology companies now have the scale and expertise to deliver big global events elegantly. It is clear that people still gravitate towards well-crafted stories, whether TV shows, movies, sports or news. And, marketers still value consumers who are actually engaged and paying attention. Mobile video is now mainstream. And we are proud that Hotstar is shaping this new world.”

Parimal Pandya, Vice President, Media, APJ, Akamai Technologies said, “The VIVO IPL 2018 Final set a new record for Hotstar and Akamai while crafting a new moment in the history of the Internet. 10.3 million concurrent viewers is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most that have ever tuned in to watch live action of any kind delivered online. Supporting broadcast-level scale, quality, and end user experience is a tough technical challenge to solve, and Akamai is pleased to have delivered a superior service during the course of the VIVO IPL 2018.”

VIVO IPL 2018 began on the 7th of April and wrapped up on the 27th of May, 2018. The six-week tournament marked the aggressive return of the Chennai Super Kings to VIVO IPL, after a two-year ban. Off-field, the tournament was entirely reimagined by Star India and Hotstar, with emphasis on substantive sports programming and analysis, leveraging mobile interactivity with gaming features like Watch’NPlay and VR added to the mix.

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