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BY Arpita Mukherjee

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At the start of this year, Hotstar launched its line-up of original shows under Hotstar Specials. At the launch of the Hotstar Specials’ sixth show ‘Out of Love’ based on the British series ‘Doctor Foster’, Gaurav Banerjee, President & Head of Hindi Entertainment, Star India, talks about the journey of Hotstar Specials, plans for 2020 and more….

On the Hotstar Specials journey so far:
We have had a series of launches where each one has been really different from the other. We have had a sports documentary, a comedy, a thriller and today we are at the launch of a hugely emotional, women centric drama. This range of content was something we have tried to build, and it is good to see it play out. The viewership and viewer feedback has been really good. There has been a lot to build on and learn from.

On monetizing content:
Our belief is that we need to build brand Hotstar Specials. That is something we will do with each of our shows. As long as we can create a platform that people associate with good story-telling, viewers will want to spend more time on it. The business model takes care of itself if we can build stories that people find interesting and want to keep watching. We are sticking to the basics and that is what has always worked well for Star in this country. We’ve got a good platform, great brand value, wonderful content constellations, and we can keep fuelling this and growing.

On the 2020 line-up:
We want to make shows in many different Indian languages and our Tamil show will be out in the next few months. We are very excited about the new line-up of shows that we have. It is a very aggressive line-up. We are working with incredible talent. We have got Neeraj Pandey, Nikhil Advani and Ram Madhvani on board to work on interesting themes. We are continuously scaling up and will definitely launch more shows next year than we have launched this year.

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