Viacom18 has entered into an exclusive content partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery under which it will stream the content of HBO, Max Original and Warner Bros. from next month
The development comes nearly two months after Disney+ Hotstar said it would stop streaming HBO content, including popular shows like Succession and Game of Thrones
JioCinema is aggressively pushing to get a big share in India’s OTT market. After streaming the ongoing IPL for free, it plans to release 100 movies and shows over the next 18-24 months
In a major push to JioCinema, Reliance’s broadcasting arm Viacom18 has entered into an exclusive content partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery. Under the partnership, JioCinema will stream the content of HBO, Max Original and Warner Bros. starting next month in India.
The development comes nearly two months after Disney+ Hotstar announced that it would stop streaming HBO content. Disney+ Hotstar said HBO content, including popular shows like Succession and Game of Thrones, is unavailable on the platform since March 31.
The Viacom18-Warner Bros. Discovery deal is a multi-year agreement. With this deal, content from HBO Original, Max Original and Warner Bros. will premiere on JioCinema on the same day as in the US.
“The strategic partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery is a big milestone in our journey to offer the best of Hollywood content to our elite consumers. We believe that Warner Bros. Discovery sets the global standards for premium content and this partnership allows us to create the best and the most comprehensive destination for our users,” Ferzad Palia, head – SVOD & International Business, Viacom18, said.
Recently, Viacom18 completed the scheme of merger involving Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Bodhi Tree Systems and US media conglomerate Paramount Global. With this merger, the integration of JioCinema into Viacom18 was also completed.
JioCinema is aggressively pushing to get a big share in India’s OTT market. Besides licensed content, the platform is also upping its original content game. JioCinema plans to release as many as 100 movies and shows, produced at a cost of INR 2,000 Cr, over the next 18-24 months.
The platform has already succeeded in wooing customers by streaming the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) for free. JioCinema claimed it saw 5 Cr new app downloads during the opening weekend of the cricket tournament. The OTT platform said it clocked over 147 Cr video views during the first weekend itself and attracted 10 Cr new viewers.
JioCinema is directly challenging Disney+Hotstar’s leadership position in the Indian OTT ecosystem. Disney also lost the digital streaming rights of the IPL to Viacom18, ending its five-year monopoly of IPL rights. Viacom18 outbid Disney+Hotstar to bag the digital rights of the IPL for the 2023-27 period. The marquee tournament brings in a lot of viewers in the cricket-crazy country.
Besides Disney+Hotstar, JioCinema’s aggressive approach is also likely to create problems for other OTT players such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5 and SonyLIV.
According to a report by RBSA Advisors, India’s video OTT market is expected to reach a size of $12.5 Bn by 2030 from about $1.5 Bn in 2021 due to increasing internet and smartphone penetration.