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Star India taps Hulu executive to head product & tech at Hotstar

MUMBAI: Star India, which is putting all its might in promoting and strengthening its online video streaming service Hotstar, has roped in former Hulu director and head of product management Varun Narang.

Narang will head Hotstar’s product and technology division.

Varun narangNarang will lead the team to build mobile solutions for the app and help innovate content discovery, quality of video playbacks as well as build native advertising platforms for the app, according to Mint.

Prior to Hotstar, Narang was with a stealth mode startup company as its VP product management since 2014. Before that he was with Hulu for over five years, where he led the Hulu product management and design teams, developed product vision, strategy and roadmap to define, launch, and improve web, mobile and living room products.

He has now shifted to Mumbai and will report to Star India digital head Ajit Mohan.

Narang has over 22 years of experience across companies like Xerox, Amazon, Koda and Hulu. He also holds a patent for automated monitoring and control of access to content from a source.

Star India is investing heavily on Hotstar, the video-on-demand destination that was launched on 1 February. It has already seen over 25 million app downloads and the cricket World Cup and the Indian Premier League (IPL) were live-streamed on the platform.

The on-demand video service market is heating up in India. While Star India and Multi Screen Media (MSM) have Hotstar and Sony Liv respectively, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has OTT service Ditto TV. Viacom18 has recently announced its plan to launch a similar service.

Hotstar has 40,000 hours of shows, movies and sports content in seven languages and over 100 advertisers. While all the premium content is available free on the platform for now, the company intends to have a paid subscription service too.