What goes into the content marketing soup of Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have upped the ante in their content marketing game, in a bid to appease the video-hungry, social media-savvy millennial generation

content marketing OTT

Torrents Morghulis’, proclaimed Hotstar a few days prior to streaming episode 1 of the highly-awaited Game of Thrones Season 7 series. This was the first time Game of Thrones fans in India would be able to watch their favourite series at the same time as fans elsewhere in the world. This also meant three things for them: no need to stay up all night downloading torrents, no dark circles and no FOMO.

For the uninitiated, ‘Torrents Morghulis’ (torrents must die) is a witty play on ‘Valar Morghulis’ (all men must die), a customary greeting before the game of deaths. For Hotstar, ‘Torrents Morghulis’ became its core message for the diehard GoT fans in India, and also a smart plug to boost its premium service. The 360 degree marketing campaign boldly took over all media, online and offline, in its fight against torrents, while dishing out some wacky ads.

A series of three ad films capture the hilariously awkward conversations between a torrent user and a Hotstar Premium user.

“Minutes after America. Hours before Torrents,” Hotstar Premium declared on its social media pages. The subscription based video on demand platform by Star Network crafted a content strategy replete with catchy visuals and gifs, while adopting a satirical tone.

The bold communication designed to appease Gen Z was then followed up with humourous episode reviews by Gen Z’s favourite comedians. Sahil Shah and Jose Covaco blended their individual style of humour to what the characters in the new season episode do. The hilarious review gave away no spoilers and was a treat indeed for GoT fans!


Gen Z had its laughs, they know that ‘Torrents are immortal’, but nevertheless, Hotstar’s spunky attitude won them over. Witty content pieces have been regularly shared on social media; despite facing flak for the technical glitches and the leak, Hotstar has been riding strong on its creative spirit.

Netflix India, like Hotstar, is all gung-ho about content, both in terms of the content they stream and the content they create to market it on social media. In a recent instance, the streaming giant went all desi for the promotions of its most popular web series – Narcos Season 3.

Season 1 and 2 was about the making of Pablo Escobar, the drug empire that he built and how it all came crashing down. As Narcos fans awaited what the new season would unleash on them, Netflix teamed with Bollywood actor Rajkumar Rao to scale up the pre -promotions of the show. The brand rolled out, “Life of a Narcos Fan,” a video where Rao enacts the exact goings-on in the mind of a Narcos fan.

As the show went live, promotions took on a more spunky mode. Season 3 is about the rise of the Cali Cartel and how they are always one-step ahead of the police. They had everything covered: all information from phone conversations to secret flight landings would get to them first.

Netflix created a funny spoof called the ‘Kaki Cartel’ featuring popular actresses of Indian television, playing the prying aunties in the neighbourhood. Their only mission in life is to mind other people’s business. This gang of four has eyes and ears everywhere, nothing escapes them, not even a stolen teenage kiss at the park!

Along with all the creative content floating on the social media platforms, the brand upped the engagement by launching a messenger bot of Agent Javier Peña. In his desperation to bring down Escobar, Peña had joined hands with the Cali Cartel and that brought on its own consequences. So now Peña needed your support to bring down the Cali godfathers. The bot is smart and will engage you if you have liked Agent Peña.

Amazon Prime Video, the new kid on the block, isn’t staying behind the game. With a solid set of content on its platform and an equally aggressive attitude like the others, Amazon’s premium subscription platform is also banking on creative content marketing for the promotions of its shows.

For instance, it chose a funny path to promote ‘The Tick’ – an American comedy web series featuring an accountant who discovers that his city is owned by a supervillian, but nobody believes him except for superhero, The Tick. For the uninitiated, like most of us who are aware about popular superheroes but not The Tick’, comedian Jose Covaco comes to the rescue. Jose, in this hilarious video, tells us what’s in store in episode one of the comedy superhero series, and a lot about The Tick’s super powers!

Another interesting promotion for The Tick is building India’s first talking metal detector – the SecuriTICK:

Creative spunk, humour & a dash of bold

If there is a ready reckoner for best methods and practices to engage Gen Z in India, Netflix India, like Hotstar – the first giant to enter the premium streaming space, and Amazon Prime Video – the late entrant, are all referring to it. For fans of the respective series, as well as for the young and demanding digital audiences, it is a treat to scroll by the brand’s social media feeds. One cannot help but let out a guffaw or least a smile while being served with some seriously witty content bites.

The content strategy is custom made matching the tone of the show being promoted. What is particularly noteworthy is the amount of creativity in every piece of content, be it a simple visual, a gif or a video. While the trio have been busy in getting more localized content for Indian audiences, they are making sure more and more digital users are intrigued and eventually increase consideration for subscription.

We don’t know who wins in the end, but the young Indian consumer and content marketing are the true winners here. There’s humour, there’s wit and there’s bold written all over the content strategy, three things that find favour with Gen Z.

As Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are all slugging it out for India’s $272M video streaming market, along with other smaller OTT players, the preferred choice of video on demand platform for an Indian consumer would depend on a combination of factors, value for money being the topmost one. As the OTT space gets competitive, there’s much to look out for in their offerings and promotional campaigns on social media.

Surely, content marketers in India need to watch this space!