The Jio Streaming Juggernaut [Part 1]
📺📱🇮🇳 India's Digital Powerhouse Revolutionizing Telecom, Media, and More
Hey Streamers 👋,
Welcome to the 18th edition of “Streaming in India”, your weekly news digest about streaming players, OTT trends and more in one of the fastest growing video markets. If you are not already a subscriber, please sign up and join 2,300+ others who receive it directly in their inbox every Wednesday.
The recently released Axis My India report revealed that 25% of respondents are moving away from traditional cable or satellite subscriptions, embracing the flexibility of digital streaming services. However, traditional media retains its relevance, with 40% of respondents still preferring cable subscriptions, illustrating the coexistence of traditional and digital media formats.
Reliance Jio, Who?
JioCinema - The Streaming Super App
Focus on Sports
Original Content (Do not miss the Video!) via Jio Studios
Big, Bigger, Biggest
Reliance Jio, Who?
Over the next couple of newsletters we want to decipher for you, the beast that is Jio and the media, entertainment, sports, & streaming blitzkrieg that we are about to witness starting this year, which in many ways is going to be a watershed moment in Indian streaming history. So here goes -
Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, or better known as Jio, Joint Implementation Opportunity (in Hindi the word Jio mean “Live Life”), is an Indian telecom company and a subsidiary of Jio Platforms (itself a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, stock ticker RIL with a market cap of $212 billion as of Jan ‘24), headquartered in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. Jio offers 4G, 4G+ & 5G services all over India.
Jio soft launched on 27 December 2015 with a beta for partners and employees, and became publicly available on 5 September 2016.
It is the largest mobile telco operator in India and the third largest mobile network operator in the world with over 452 million subscribers.
In September 2019, Jio launched a fiber to home service, offering home broadband, television, and telephone services.
As of September 2020, they have raised ₹1.65 lakh crore (equivalent to ₹1.9 trillion or US$24 billion in 2023) by selling nearly 33% equity stake in Jio Platforms.
For my MENA friends, do you see any familiar names?! Yes, they pretty much threw the kitchen sink at the fund raise, getting some formidable global names on the cap table and that too a process that was completed during the peak of COVID-19 in India.
With a war chest accumulated, Jio began chipping away immediately at media, entertainment, content studio, sports rights, OTT and most importantly talent (people make a business) assets to create a streaming story that the world has not seen before.
Jio Cinema - The Streaming Super App
From exclusive content such as the IPL to HBO, Bigg Boss to Peacock & Kids to even more cricket, all available in the language of your choice, Jio Cinema is a clear favourite to becoming the preferred streaming destination for a vast majority of Indians.
JioCinema is owned by Viacom18, a company 74% owned by Reliance Jio, with Bodhi Tree Systems and Paramount Global owning approximately 13% each.
Of particular interest is that Bodhi Tree Systems is owned by Uday Shankar (ex-Star India CEO) & Rupert Murdoch, thereby explaining the major IPL, cricket and sports push success till date. Uday Shankar had earlier established Disney+ Hotstar as the premier OTT destination for all things cricket, leading with the IPL streaming rights, which now are with Jio.
In terms of related businesses that fold into Viacom18, it has content arm
Jio Studios; distribution business Viacom18 that includes 59 channels, Jio Cinema, movie & digital content production and distribution vertical Viacom18 Studios, experiential entertainment Integrated Network Solutions and merchandising arm Viacom18 Consumer Products; and the platforms business of Jio mobility and fibre-to-home.
Except for Hollywood content which includes Peacock and HBO Originals which requires a subscription of Rs. 999 per year ($12 per year), all the other content on the platform is ad supported and available for free.
Focus on Sports
It is clear that JioCinema is banking heavily on sports content to drive traffic - marquee sports IPs currently available for either Live or Video On Demand content includes India Women’s cricket (versus Australia for now), IPL, ISL, NBA, Ranji Trophy (the state side cricket tournament which breeds most of the Indian national cricket stars), Tata WPL (Women’s IPL cricket), Major League Cricket (MLC in the US), LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and more.
The sports content library is even more enviable when you consider what it will become post the completion of the merger between Jio (Viacom18) & Disney Star. Along with streaming rights for the cricket IPL, Jio will also get a four-year deal with the International Cricket Council (ICC) matches (including Cricket World Cups) streaming from 2023 to 2027.
Last April, Jio Studios unveiled its upcoming slate in India that features over 100 movie and web series titles including Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dunki (recently released), a film with Amitabh Bachchan and sequels to Bhediya and Stree.
Jio Studios, the media and content arm of Reliance Industries Limited, announced that they are collaborating with noted filmmakers including Raj Kumar Hirani, Sooraj Barjatya, Dinesh Vijan, Ali Abbas Zafar, Aditya Dhar, Prakash Jha, Amar Kaushik, and Laxman Utekar among others for their upcoming titles.
The studio has lined up ready to release over 100 stories across genres of films and original web series in multiple languages including Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, and Bhojpuri.
Jio Studios also announced its web originals including Laal Batti, a political thriller helmed by Prakash Jha. The show marks the digital debut of Nana Patekar, and will also feature Sanjay Kapoor. Other titles include Union: The Making of India, featuring Kay Kay Menon and Ashutosh Rana, Randeep Hooda’s Inspector Avinash, Maniesh Paul’s OTT debut Rafuchakkar, Bajao, which marks rapper Raftaar’s first outing on a digital platform, TV star Divyanka Tripathi-led The Magic of Shiri, Doctors with Sharad Kelkar and A Legal Affair starring Barkha Singh and Angad Bedi.
“We are in the most exciting and eventful phase of Indian entertainment, with storytelling taking centre stage in an era of explosive digital disruption. Since its inception five years ago, Jio Studios has worked very hard to lay solid foundations in scaling what is traditionally a very fragmented industry,” Jyoti Deshpande, President - RIL Media and Content Business, had said in a press note.
Check out the video below to catch a glimpse of all the upcoming original content by Jio Studios - all the original series will debut on JioCinema!
Big, Bigger, Biggest
"JioCinema has now become India's largest digital entertainment destination for blockbuster movies, OTT originals, the biggest reality shows, and exclusive content from leading global studios like HBO and NBCU," said Mukesh Ambani while addressing Reliance (RIL) shareholders.
"For the first time, IPL was streamed free on JioCinema. It created a global record with a staggering 45 crore (450 million) viewers tuning in to the platform," he said.
More people watched IPL on digital devices than on linear television, marking a tectonic shift in the way content is consumed in India.
"JioCinema transformed the way we engage with live content, with pathbreaking innovations like True 4K streams, 360-degree streams, multi-camera view, and fan interaction through our 'Hype' feature. The response was incredible, setting multiple records for streaming content.
"Over 3.2 crore concurrent users during the final, with more than 12 crore total viewers and 60 minutes average watch time per viewer per match," said Akash Ambani.
There is no stopping the digital beast and the upcoming acquisition of Disney Star will see Reliance Jio become the undisputed king of the Indian media, entertainment, sports and OTT industries.
On this newsletter, we covered who is Jio, JioCinema, the focus on sports, original content with Jio Studios and the IPL 2023 performance and features.
The next newsletter we will have a break down of Jio TV and further analysis of the Jio - Disney Star merger amongst other topics.
That’s all for today folks. If you enjoyed this breakdown, please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues.
What better way to continue the New Year celebrations than to watch our favourite Salman Khan back as Tiger in Yash Raj Films’ spy-verse, Tiger 3 on Amazon Prime Video.
Tiger (Salman Khan) is informed about a new military group that is planning something beyond all imagination, headed by a deeply motivated Aatish Rehman (Emraan Hashmi), who has a history of his own with Tiger and a personal vendetta to settle. Tiger & Zoya (Katrina Kaif), along with their compatriots, must overcome some arms dealers, assassins and the immensely calculative Aatish.
India’s version of James Bond is back!
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