Flipkart eyes stake in Star’s Hotstar to upstage Amazon in video content
E-commerce giant Flipkart has raised the stakes in its battle for video content with rival Amazon by initiating talks to buy a stake in Star India’s video streaming service Hotstar, the Mint reported on Monday.
Flipkart’s move comes a month after US-based Walmart completed a $16-billion acquisition of India’s largest e-commerce firm.
There is high demand in India for video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Hotstar, owned by Twenty-First Century Fox’s Star India unit, has denied any such talks with Flipkart, but said was open to partnerships that can help grow the Internet ecosystem in India and beyond.
Flipkart has already tied up with Hotstar to launch a video advertisement platform in July. Hotstar is also one of the Internet partners for Flipkart Plus, its customer loyalty programme competing with Amazon Prime.
Hotstar which was launched in India in 2015 is ahead of both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in terms of its popularity with domestic users.
Hotstar has been offering premium content like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and live-streaming of popular Indian Premier League cricket for an annual subscription of Rs 999 rupees.