Which is the best video streaming service in India?

By Ritika Tiwari | Published on 15 April 2019


Just four years ago, the Over the Top (OTT) streaming market in India was almost non existent, with just Hotstar leading the way. But all that changed in 2016, when Netflix and Amazon Prime decided to throw their rings in the hat.

 

Now, there are numerous video streaming platforms in India, each offering access to great content. But which of these OTTs can bring the most value to you? Let’s find out:

 

Hotstar

 

Launched in 2015, Hotstar now has more than 100,000 hours of content in 17 different language. Since its a subsidiary of Star India, which in turn is a subsidiary of Fox(and now, Disney), Hotstar has been able to get copyrights of several enticing shows and movies.

 

Its exclusive deal with HBO proved to be a turning point as many users signed up primarily to watch uncensored HBO shows (Game of Thrones, in particular).

 

In 2017, Hotstar was also able to get digital rights for streaming IPL matches. For the Hindi and daily soap audience, Hotstar uploads new episodes at 6am IST every morning, even before they are telecasted on TV.

 

There is a mix of free and premium content. Free users can start watching Hotstar without even signing up, though there will be some ads. Paid users get access to new English shows, right when they are telecasted in the US. While there is no way to filter free content on Hotstar, you can use the CineBee app to find free movies and TV shows.

 

Hostar has also announced that it will be investing heavily in original content in the coming years starting with Criminal Justice which was recently released with raving reviews.

 

Pricing

  • Hotstar Premium: Gives access to the complete Hotstar content library. Monthly: INR 199; Yearly: INR 999.

 

  • Hotstar VIP (Replaced by Hotstar Sports Pack): Gives access to live matches, Hotstar specials, and Hindi daily soaps. (No access to American shows or movies). Yearly: INR 365

 

Both plans allow two simultaneous streams

Free trial

Yes. 7 days

 

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime, which became the most viewed OTT platform in February 2019, is incredibly popular in India because of its vast selection of original content and blockbuster Indian movies.

 

While Hotstar may have rights for Marvel and X-Men movies, Amazon has DC movies along with big budgeted Indian movies like Bahubali and KGF. A big reason behind Prime Video’s popularity is the myriad of other services that you get with your Amazon Prime account including:

 

  • Unlimited free shipping
  • Prime Music
  • Prime Reading
  • Exclusive access to  Amazon deals

 

While Amazon does offer a lot of extra services at a very affordable price along with a large video library, there is one big disadvantage that needs to be addressed -- Amazon Prime does not support Chromecast. This is due to the long overdue battle between Google and Amazon over their competing streaming devices Chromecast and Fire Stick.

 

So, as an Amazon Prime user, you can either buy a Firestick (which is costlier than Chromecast), or you can cast your mobile/laptop screen playing Prime video (which can lead to lagging and loss of quality)

 

Pricing

 

Monthly: INR 129

Yearly: INR 999

 

Prime offers two simultaneous streams



Free trial

Yes. 30 days

Netflix

 

While Netflix is the numero uno of the OTT market worldwide, it has still not been able to become the biggest player in India because of its comparatively high pricing and restricted local content.

 

Though in the last few years, Netflix has invested heavily in getting more local content for the Indian viewers. Apart from striking a deal with Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment, Netflix has also launched many original Hindi shows including Sacred Games, Ghoul, Selection Day, Little Things, and Delhi Crime.

 

While the pricing is definitely more than any of the other OTT in India, Netflix also provides viewers access to the widest library. Users can create multiple profiles and Netflix gives recommendations according to the watch history of each profile.

 

Though, in order to compete with the competitive market, Netflix will be launching a weekly mobile-only plan for INR 65. This plan is perfect when you want to go on a weekend long binge session. You can create an entire watchlist on the the CineBee app with all the TV shows and movies that you want to watch on Netflix before you even start your subscription in order to make the most of the week’s time.  

 

Pricing

Mobile-only: INR 250 per month

Basic: INR 500 per month (1 simultaneous streaming)

Standard: INR 650 per month. HD quality (2 simultaneous streaming screens)

Premium: INR 800 per month. HD and Ultra HD quality (4 simultaneous streaming screens)

 

All the plans are now also available on weekly basis

Free trial

Yes. 30 days--Whether you opt for a weekly plan or monthly plan



OTT

Monthly Pricing

Yearly Pricing

Major benefits

Free Trial

Free content

Simultaneous Streams

Hotstar

199

999

Huge Hollywood library

Yes

Yes

2

Amazon Prime

129

999

Prime Benefits including Prime Music, Prime Reading,Free delivery and access to exclusive deals

Yes

No

2

Netflix

500

NA

Netflix Originals

Yes

No

Minimum 2, maximum 4 (Depending on the plan

SonyLIV

99

499

IPL

No

Yes

3

Hungama

99

NA

Access to music too

No

No

2

Zee5

198

999

Access to all the Zee shows

No

Yes

5

           

 

 

SonyLIV

 

Launched in 2013, SonyLIV claims to offer over 40,000 hours of content in English, Hindi, and Tamil. Because of the strong sports channel network of Sony Entertainment that includes of 11 channels like Sony SIX, ESPN, TEN1, and TEN2, SonyLIV has become one of the favourites among sports watchers in India.

Pricing

Free streaming of local Indian shows. But you need a paid plan to get access to premium movies, live sports, and international shows

 

Monthly: INR 99

Half yearly: INR 299

Yearly: INR 499

 

All the plans offer three simultaneous streams

Free trial

No.  

Hungama

Hungama was started as a music streaming app, but it has recently started offering videos and movies as well. The platform claims to offer over 8,000+ Hollywood, Bollywood, and other regional movies as well as TV shows.

 

Though, Hungama does have a coins system. You get coins for signing up and listening to music on Hungama. You can then use these coins to buy a movie pack.

 

Pricing

 

Movies and TV shows: INR 99 per month (or 8000 coins)

Movies, TV shows, and music: INR 149 per month (or 10,000 coins)

 

Free trial

No.

 

Zee5

Zee5 is the digital streaming service of Zee Entertainment and it gives you access to shows and movies that are telecasted on the different Zee channels including Zee TV, &TV, Zee Cafe, Zee Cinema, and &Flix.

 

As a freemium service, Zee5 allows you to access some of the content for free, which includes its in-house Zee shows and news.

Pricing

 

All Access Packs

 

Monthly: INR 198

Half yearly: INR 599

Yearly: INR 999

 

Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada Packs each:

 

Monthly: INR 49

Yearly: INR 499

 

All the above packs offer five simultaneous screen

Free trial

No



Final Words

 

Still confused about which OTT to choose? The CineBee can help you suggest what to watch according to your watchlist and watched history. You can compare OTTs according to the kind of content they have and the shows that are planning to watch in the near future

 



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