In this digital era when data is in abundance, thanks to the steep tariff cuts resulting from competition in the data market, there has been a spike in the video on demand consumption. There has been a shift from traditional Cable and satellite live TV to stream content on smartphones, tablets and PCs with viewing content as per the viewer’s convenience. This trend is a wave that the online premium video streaming service providers are trying to ride.
Currently, there are a number of online premium video streaming service providers, including the ever-popular Netflix, which probably has the largest subscriber market share globally, but its popularity in a developing market like India remains limited considering that its monthly subscription pack starts at Rs. 500 which most Indians find unjustifiable. I will thus focus in this article on 3 services which are offering value for money deals which may not last very long.
HOOQ the Singapore based service provider has recently restructured its content and pricing strategy for the Indian market. The service which has been in India for a little over 2 years, initially offered an equal mix of English, Hind and regional content has now taken the English only premium content approach. Initially, the service was offered for Rs.200 a month, now for a limited period, the service is being offered for Rs.89 for the first 90 days and thereafter Rs.89 per month. Top rated shows include The vampire diaries, Friends, The big bang theory, Gotham, Lucifer, Flash, Supergirl. The service supports casting to Chromecast for watching on your TV screens.
Hotstar is a service managed by Star India group which provides both ad-supported free content as well as subscription-based premium content. The premium subscription enables live streaming of a number of star group TV channels as well as a content library of English, Hindi and regional movies and TV shows. Free content includes Hotstar originals like On air with AIB and Sarabhai vs Sarabhai while premium content includes HBO originals like Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley. The service which costs Rs.199 per month on subscription is currently being offered for just Rs.696 for an annual subscription which is a limited period offer and the payment is of course non-refundable.
Amazon Prime video:
Amazon Prime Video has been in the Indian market for just over a year and is unarguably the best value for money deal out there. The service which since its launch has been priced at an attractive Rs.499 for an annual subscription is all set for an increase in price to Rs.999 very soon, which means you still have a chance of grabbing it at half price. The plus point of amazon prime subscription is that you get unlimited free 1 and 2-day shipping for products ordered on Amazon which is prime enabled and no minimum order value. Top rated shows on the platform include Dexter, Two and a half men, Mom, The grand tour. The only downside is the lack of Chromecast support, which means you can’t cast videos to your TV using your smartphone but you can get the Firestick device.
Jio also has incorporated content from Eros Now in its Jio cinema app and was initially going to offer a Hotstar premium for free to its subscribers but which it later dropped out of. Jio subscribers can still get free live streaming of star group channels in the Hotstar app, but the premium VOD content will require a subscription.