OTT Platforms Movies

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Apple TV+ : which streaming service do I binge with?

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With Disney Plus set to launch with Hotstar after IPL 2020, we collate the top streaming services in the country and examine how they fare, their content and their back-end innovation

As an entertainment provider, you have not really cemented yourself in the 21st Century if you have not got yourself an OTT platform. Currently in India alone, there are over 30 platforms racing to break new ground in technology and innovation. We have seen Lionsgate Play, Tata Sky Binge, Voot, Zee5 make forays into the market but at the moment there remains a core group of streaming services to which we subscribe instinctively.

Set-top boxes (such as those of Tata Sky, Airtel and Jio) have faced scrutiny and rejection from more millennials for the lack of prompt customer service and, of course, the fact that inter-device mobility is not as seamless as it is with a streaming service.

So here, we break down each of the headline-making OTT platforms, along with technologies they may use as well as how to access them:

Amazon Prime Video

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Apple TV+ : which streaming service do I binge with?

Specials / Originals: Fleabag, Made In Heaven, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Additional licensed content from NBC (Blindspot, The Office US) from ITV (Downton Abbey) and CBS (Blue Bloods, 2 Broke Girls)

Rates and access:

  • ₹129 per month, including mobile app-access ₹999 for the whole year, including mobile app-access
  • Access: through Amazon Prime Video website across major browsers, through Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire Stick, and through Amazon Prime Video app

USP:

With the Prime subscription, a user gets access to priority delivery of purchases made on Amazon and access to Prime Music streaming. Closed Captioning and Audio Description available across most content.

Hotstar

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Apple TV+ : which streaming service do I binge with?

Specials/ Originals:The Office (India), Criminal Justice, Hostages

Additional licensing of popular regional content under the Star network such as the regional Bigg Boss episodes, shows from Star Vijay, Asianet, etc. Titles from HBO (Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, His Dark Materials), Showtime, ACB Studios, National Geographic, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, etc. And, of course, exclusive live streaming of sporting events like the IPL, Premier League, Grand Slams in India

Rates and access:

  • Hotstar Premium: ₹999 per year or ₹299 per month to access all the content on the platform including Hollywood/ Indian/ international shows and movies, live streaming of sports such as cricket, football, tennis, and live news channels
  • Hotstar VIP: ₹365 per year for all the content except Hollywood/ Indian/ international shows and movies
  • Content can be streamed only on a single screen at a time for all accounts

USP:

Reports suggest that the newly-introduced Disney+ streaming service will be launched in India via Hotstar in the second half of 2020, after the conclusion of Indian Premier League 2020. Hotstar is owned by Star India, which belongs to The Walt Disney Company. Along with the entire catalog of Disney+ content, many titles could be localised for the Indian market by being dubbed in various regional languages. Rates and other specifics for the Indian market are yet to be revealed.

    Netflix

    Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Apple TV+ : which streaming service do I binge with?

    Originals/Specials:Hasan Minhaj: Patriot Act, Sacred Games, Bojack Horseman

    Additional licensed content from NBC (Friends, The Office US, Blacklist), from ABC (How To Get Away With Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, Designated Survivor)

    Rates and access:

    • Mobile: ₹199 per month to watch on 1 mobile phone or tablet at a time in Standard Definition and download videos on 1 phone or tablet
    • Basic: ₹499 per month to watch on 1 screen at a time in Standard Definition and download videos on 1 phone or tablet
    • Standard HD: ₹649 per month to watch on 2 screens at a time. HD available. Download videos on 2 phones or tablets
    • Premium Ultra HD: ₹799 per month to watch on 4 screens at a time. HD and Ultra HD available. Download videos on 4 phones or tablets
    • Netflix ha partnered with ACT Fibernet and Airtel for discounted plans for customers
    • Access: No company-exclusive hardware required, app / website / smart TV only

    USP:

    Netflix uses adaptive streaming which uses Machine Learning to recognise network conditions and adjust the video quality up or down based on that. This is to minimise buffering. Dubbing, Closed Captioning, Audio Description available across most content.

    Apple TV+

    Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Apple TV+ : which streaming service do I binge with?

    Originals/Specials:The Morning Show, The Banker (to be released), See

    No additional licensing announced

    Rates and access:

    • ₹99 per month for family plan
    • Access: through Apple devices with up-to-date software, through Amazon Fire TV devices, through Samsung Smart TVs and through Safari, Chrome and Firefox browser

    Back-end: Apple has remained surprisingly quiet about the technology, but users around the world have been complaining of audio-visual lags, constant buffering and resolution inconsistency. Closed Captioning and Audio Description available across most content.

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    Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 6:59:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/comparison-of-netflix-apple-tv-plus-amazon-prime-video-hotstar-ott-platforms-in-india/article29982304.ece

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