Hotstar – Designing for millions
1 Product Designer

Hotstar – Designing for millions

I led the paid membership user experience (subscriptions and payments) at Disney+ Hotstar, the biggest video on demand platform in India and a market leader in paid subscriptions, contributing to 7x growth in memberships within 1 year.
Hotstar is India's leading video-on-demand freemium platform with over 300 million monthly active users and a diverse content catalog of English, Hindi, and regional TV shows, movies, Hotstar originals, live sports, and news. While a lot of loved content is available for free, subscribers enjoy exclusive member-only content, access to entire Hotstar's content ad-free, live sports, and more additional features.
the team
1 Product Designer
10+ Engineers
2 Product Managers
duration
1 year in subscriptions team

Impact

7x

increase in number of paid subscriptions (Mid 2018 to Mid 2019)

2x

and 3x improvement in payment success rate for netbanking and wallet payments

80%+

success rate of monthly to annual upgrade nudge (1 month post release)

How I added value

The three biggest challenges that hampered paid subscription growth for us were – unawareness, funnel leaks, and high cancellations during non-cricket seasons. To solve the first, as a part of MVP I ensured that the communication is consistent across all touch-points and further introduced detailed landing pages for the most popular plans and designed upsell opportunities within the app. To mitigate funnel leaks, I focussed on improving all the existing payment flows by storyboarding and understanding user pain points per platform. Another big detail was to make the experience less transactional and more human with better communication and visuals. To reduce the cancellation post major sports events, many interesting steps were taken, for e.g. introducing upgrade flow to upgrade from sports to entertainment plan, promotion of yearly plan, and discovery of Hotstar Premium content. The business and content team worked together on the proposal of a new subscription plan called "Hotstar VIP" – a combination of sports plan with top Indian content. Our scalable subscription design system enabled the business team to go live with this new offering quickly before IPL in a matter of 1 month with a very good success rate.
  1. Identified the most critical improvement areas in the end to end subscription journey with a PM. Looked at subscriptions holistically while focusing on relentless improvements and optimization in the existing subscription user experience.
  2. Collaborated with multiple teams such as design ops, marketing, sports, and content to level up the overall experience and took ownership to maintain the highest quality of shipping.
  3. Revamped subscription pages improving CTR by 75%. Conducted funnel analysis, usability tests and A/B tests and re-iterated most payment flows per method type like Netbanking, Credit card, Debit card, PhonePe, Paytm, and more with success rates improving by 2x to 3x.
  4. Enabled the product launch of a brand new subscription plan "Hotstar VIP" from conception to production within 30 days – which became the fastest selling and biggest subscription plan for Hotstar. We introduced powerful entry points to educate users about Hotstar VIP content and made the proposition value clear and exciting to users with our landing page.
  5. Designed many upsell entry points to subscription experience in the product to improve subscriptions and encourage plan upgrades. The success rate in the first few months after launch was 85%.
Navigating through challenges👆🏽 🚩
The new landing page designed to raise awareness about the offerings of Hotstar Premium showcasing the diverse content catalog of Hotstar, member only benefits, value proposition and FAQs. There was a 75% improvement in CTR after introduction of this page.
To deal with the challenge of showing the breadth of content in small space, we introduced this slow motion content strip. This component was re-used in many other subscription and upgrade flows and nudges. The future vision for this page was to replace static images with trailers and videos.
Comparing the Old and New Subscription page

We introduced many entry points to subscription landing page. This entry point on the home page surfaces the latest best content / subscription plan. The challenge for this banner design was to accommodate multiple text and visuals in a small space and still draw user attention so that visibility of other content trays is not compromised.
The design for upgrade flow. I had the challenge to show many data points in an understandable, scalable and incentivised manner. Data such as the plan details of existing subscription plan, the plan details of proposed subscription plan, value propositions of proposed plan vs value proposition of existing plan, any price-difference or decision making driver, and lastly the amount a user would have to pay along with the price difference calculation calculated on pro-rata basis.
An exploration for "Upgrade membership" feature for cross plan selling and nudging users to switch to annual from monthly – This was done to reduce churn and as an up-sell feature.
An exploration to improve Hotstar premium cancellation experience. The goal was to use the cancellation trigger as an opportunity to educate users about targeted content that they would like to watch and might not have discovered or popular shows not watched yet. The other goal was to understand the reason of cancellation by adding a quick survey in the flow.

An exploration to improve the user profile page of a Hotstar Premium user. One of the insight during research was that the feeling of exclusiveness of being a paid member was missing and there was a lack of awareness of value and dissatisfaction amongst users. What if the user profile page could give a user all the information about membership as well as be an exclusive room to explore everything Premium and feel Premium. Another insight after talking to users was that they often struggled to understand what to watch. Hotstar had content recommendation but with so many recommendations to watch, there's always a decision fatigue. Weekly top chart would be the go to place for users to find crowd approved top charting content ♥️

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