The twelfth edition of the VIVO IPL cricket tournament concluded with another high for reported online viewership. Hotstar, India’s largest premium streaming platform, leveraged Akamai to live stream the VIVO IPL 2019 final between the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings to 18.6 million concurrent viewers.
The VIVO IPL 2018 edition saw Hotstar and Akamai shatter multiple records for reported concurrency in quick succession.
In 2019, Hotstar had already created history during the first three weeks of the VIVO IPL by – exceeding its total viewership of 2018. During the course of the final match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, the average concurrent viewership of 11.1 million users was higher than the peak concurrency set during the VIVO IPL 2018 final with 10.3 million users. This average concurrency was bolstered by Hotstar growing its platform reach from 202 million users during the 2018 IPL tournament to over 300 million -users during the course of this years’ tournament.
According the to the GSMA, over 430 million people in India have access to mobile internet services, helping viewership and access to entertainment in India to go mobile over the past year. This was exemplified in the VIVO IPL 2019 final as well with 91 percent of viewers watching the match via mobile. This brings with it a set of challenges including planning for multiple device types and network conditions in ensuring that mobile internet users experience as little a lag as possible when it comes to enjoying live sporting content such as the VIVO IPL 2019 final.
Commenting on the record, Varun Narang, Chief Product Officer, Hotstar added, “At Hotstar, we have an innate belief in delivering a game-changing viewing experience to our consumers through ideas that challenge the status quo. The achievements of this season once again bear witness to Hotstar being the most preferred sports destination for the country. With technology as our backbone and our all-round expertise in driving scale, we are confident we will continue to break global records and set new benchmarks with each passing year.”
“Viewership of the VIVO IPL event on mobile devices has been growing exponentially over time, and we fully expect this trend to continue. In setting these records and making sure that viewers are enjoying live sporting events, the challenge will always be being able to provide the necessary technology support and delivery capability to platforms like Hotstar,” said Parimal Pandya, Vice President, Media, Asia, Pacific and Japan, Akamai Technologies. “We have worked closely with Hotstar every year to design solutions that help in scaling and ensuring as low latency as possible so that viewers can enjoy a broadcast-quality experience. Along with this, we have also delivered on expectations of managing geographical spikes in traffic every year while matching users’ expectations of streaming quality.”
VIVO IPL 2019 began on 23 March and wrapped up on 12 May 2019. The tournament started earlier than in years past to account for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which begins on the 30th of May and also the 2019 General Elections in India to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. Both these events are set to attract millions of users over digital channels as they come to a close.