It’s been some time now that there is a huge paradigm shift in the way viewers enjoy watching shows and movies. TV shows and movies have stepped down from mere cable TV network and very fast moved into the online streaming world.
Happy news is that, even in our country, there are several numbers of online streaming services all lined up to cater the needs of the ever-growing net-addicted generation. And thanks to the internet service providers in India who all are kind enough to bestow with offers in terms of more data on FUPs thereby alluring the crowd to make a swift shift to online streaming services making the same a huge hit.
So, who all are making it big in India? Several you see. But as of now, let’s compare the top 5 most happening ones in terms of different categories. Here we go, our comparison between Amazon Prime, Netflix, Voot, Hotstar and Airtel Movies (previously Wynk Movies) based on several parameters:
“ Thanks to the internet service providers in India who all are kind enough to bestow with offers in terms of more data on FUPs thereby alluring the crowd to make a swift shift to online streaming services making the same a huge hit.
Money matters…the most! Hence, we start off with the subscription cost of each, one by one:
- Amazon Prime: It costs ₹ 499 per year (as of now) as part of their introductory offer(super cheap). But, hold on, it might soon switch to ₹ 999 per year.
- Netflix: A bit on the expensive side with a subscription cost of ₹ 500 per month, that too with some restrictions. Standard and Premium subscriptions cost ₹ 650 and ₹ 800.
- Hotstar: The monthly subscription of Hotstar is pretty economical with ₹ 199 per month for their Premium content catalogue.
- Voot: Whoa, this one’s absolutely free right now; no subscription is required to stream content on their platform.
- Airtel Movies: This offers several in-app options to subscribe to either Eros Now, HOOQ, Sony LIV for ₹ 49, ₹ 249, ₹ 149 per month, respectively. Airtel has also added YouTube and Dailymotion video streaming options on its apps.
2. Video Catalogue
Another important aspect that actually lets the users opt for the perfect service according to his or her choice – video catalogue.
- Amazon Prime: Exclusiveness of Amazon Prime lies in the fact that apart from their own originals and popular TV shows from the US, it’s full of local Indian content — both movies and TV shows and the library is getting updated everyday.
- Netflix: It houses a vast library of originals that the Indian audience would get, especially because their entire library was not unveiled to viewers during the launch.
- Hotstar: Hotstar offers a lot – latest Indian TV shows, Bollywood movies, Hollywood movies and English and regional TV shows along with live sports streaming option for Cricket, English Premier League and Formula 1.
- Voot: Voot sources shows mainly from Colors channel in various Indic languages, shows from MTV India and movies produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures. Not a colossal catalogue, but it’s for free and streams a host of popular shows.
- Airtel Movies: It includes Hollywood movies, shows, Bollywood movies and Indian shows as well in its HOOQ subscription, added Bollywood movies, music and TV shows from Eros’ subsidiaries and native content from SonyLiv.
3. Video Playback and User Interface
How does it run? I mean, does it stumble? Does it stammer? And at the same time, does it look good and is it user-friendly?
- Amazon Prime: We don’t have any issue (not much except few hiccups here and there) with its streaming which is pretty decent. But Amazon might work on the streaming interface for better since we’re paying for that as well.
- Netflix: Netflix is the clear winner in this round with seamless streaming and a smooth interface, that has a really well-working recommendation engine, based on your watching history.
- Hotstar and Voot: Both of these have heavy user interface which takes time to load even on a decently quick internet connection and both of them can do away with the clutter.
- Airtel Movies: It is sluggish at the time of starting a stream as it verifies credentials first and that can be a bit irritating at times. However, the video streams fine afterwards, and the interface is quite smooth as well.
4. Indian Content
If you are in India, you have to offer Indian content – that’s one notion for all the streaming services.
- Amazon Prime: It offers quite a few Hindi TV shows, especially for kids and has an array of movies in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi. Amazon Prime is also working with native artists and is soon going to release originals for the Indian audience.
- Netflix: The Indian content availability on Netflix is very low with just a handful of Bollywood movies.
- Hotstar: Hotstar’s library of Indian content is huge, both movies and TV shows (thanks to Star Plus) which actually wins over all others (except Airtel Movies) on this list.
- Voot: Voot has shows from TV channels which are owned or are subsidiaries of Viacom 18, namely MTV and Colors in various regional languages.
- Airtel Movies: It can bid for the top two ranks in this parameter as its ErosNow, SonyLiv, as well as HOOQ subscriptions, are all heavily loaded with Indian content.
5. Original Content
Originality counts, as it sets apart a class and uniqueness of its own.
- Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar: All three of them offer original content from their own production houses as well as content from popular TV shows and movies.
Amazon Prime is all set to come up with original content in collaboration with various Indian artists and production houses. Currently, they’ve released most of their originals for Indian audiences like The Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour, Bosch and much more.Netflix has also offered several original content like Narcos, The Crown, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and much more. Hotstar houses shows from Star Plus India and a few originals like ‘On Air with AIB’, but nothing fresh has shown up on their platform in a long time. Per se, they don’t have anything unique on offer at their platform except for what is already available for TV viewers.
- Voot: Okay, so Voot has everything original since all the content on their platform is from Viacom 18 production house. Apart from that, they also have originals such as Chinese Bhasad, Shaadi Boys and more just for the web viewers.
- Airtel Movies: They too haven’t come up with anything out of the ordinary, and you can only stream shows which are also otherwise available on independent streaming services of their linked subscriptions.
6. Streaming and Offline Viewing Options
The more, the merrier! What if we could get an offline streaming and viewing option?
- Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hotstar: Amazon Prime app has an offline option for most of its shows, while Netflix app only has a limited number of shows that can be viewed offline. Hotstar also allows users to view shows offline, but only a selection of Indian shows.
- Voot and Airtel: Both don’t have the option to download and view shows later on in the offline mode.
Conclusion and verdict:
To conclude, here’s how you should decide:
- Go with Netflix…if you don’t care about Indian content and want to watch great stuff in an elegant user interface..
- Go with Amazon Prime ( ₹ 42 per month only) …if you are not a big fan of Indian content and don’t want to pay few hundred to Netflix every month. It has a big catalogue but user experience and content quality not as great as Netflix, remember that.
- Hotstar is for you …if you want to have good Indian shows and don’t mind paying a little extra each month and user experience doesn’t bother you much.
- Voot is for those who don’t want to pay anything at all and who can adjust without huge range of movies and shows, but a quite a few good Originals.