OTT platforms such as Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have quickly grown in popularity in India. Cord cutting is slowly picking up steam in India as it did in the US market.
But what exactly is meant by an OTT platform? What is its full form? How does an OTT platform work? And which are the best OTT platforms in India? Let’s talk about all these in detail here.
OTT Full Form and Meaning of OTT
Let’s get straight to the point, OTT means Over the Top, which refers to the content that can be streamed directly over an internet connection without needing a cable connection or a DTH connection.
Benefits of OTT platforms
The apparent benefit of OTT platforms is that you don’t need a cable or DTH connection anymore. You can say goodbye to the long advertisement segments you typically get on traditional TV programming.
Moreover, you’re getting a choice to watch whatever you want at your convenience, rather than waiting for some movie or TV show to come on the regular TV schedule.
What Types Of Content Are Suitable For OTT?
OTT platforms cover every type of video content, ranging from movies, TV shows, TV serials, live TV, and live sports.
One interesting advantage OTT platforms currently have over traditional TV networks is that it doesn’t fall under the scrutiny of censoring in India. It means you’ll see much more unfiltered content on OTT platforms; most US TV shows get scissors when shown on TV channels. But on OTT platforms it doesn’t have such restrictions.
How OTT Works and How OTT Is Delivered?
The working of OTT platforms is simple actually: you pay for the subscription of an OTT platform (for free platforms, you don’t need this step), select the content you want to watch on your device, click play, and you’ll be watching the content on your screen in no time.
The technical working of an OTT platform is more complex than we can explain here. Platforms like Disney+ Hotstar had to handle more than 1.8 crore live viewers in recent India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup. It is an impressive feat that Disney+ Hotstar has pulled off without any hiccups.
The amount of infrastructure and technology required to keep many OTT platforms running is staggering.
Now, going about how the OTT platforms get movies and TV shows released on its platforms, there are two ways:
- An OTT platform pays for a TV show or movie rights from a traditional film or TV studio.
Or it produces its own TV shows and movies from IP, using its own in-house studios.
- The digital rights for movies get sold even before their theatrical rights usually. That’s why you see the Amazon Prime Video logo at the start of a movie in a theatre.
Best OTT platforms in India?
Let’s face it; India has no specific best OTT platform. Many different OTT platforms cater to various viewers. The holy trinity of India’s most popular OTT platforms is Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Let us look at India’s best and most popular OTT platforms.
|Mobile 1 month||Rs 49 per month||1||480p|
|Mobile 3 months||Rs 149 per 3 months||1||480p|
|Mobile 6 months||Rs 199 per 6 months||1||480p|
|Mobile yearly||Rs 499 per year||1||480p|
|Super||Rs 899 per year||1||720p|
|Premium monthly||Rs 299 per month||2||1080p|
|Premium yearly||Rs 1,499 per year||4||4K|
Disney+ Hotstar is one of India’s most popular OTT platforms, owing to its popularity over various content spectrums that is unmatched by rivals Prime Video and Netflix. Disney+ Hotstar comes with a content portfolio that includes live sports (like IPL, T20 World Cup, Formula 1, etc.), TV serials, and one of the broadest collections of Indian movies. And not to mention the addition of foreign language content from Disney+, such as Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, Pixar, and Disney. It also has the rights to air HBO shows in India, including blockbuster shows such as House of the Dragon, Succession, Game of Thrones and more. Disney+ Hotstar comes with three different plans: Mobile, Super and Premium.
Amazon Prime Video
|Monthly||Rs 179 per month||3||4K|
|Quarterly||Rs 459 per 3 months||3||4K|
|Yearly||Rs 1499 per year||3||4K|
Amazon Prime Video is one of the best value-for-money subscriptions among all the other OTT platforms. It comes bundled with Amazon Prime subscription, which costs Rs 1,499 per year. It has various other perks, such as unlimited free delivery on Amazon, Prime Music, Gaming with Prime, Prime Reading, and more.
The content included with Amazon Prime Video ranges from movies, TV shows and limited live sports. Amazon Prime Video has many popular TV shows in India, like The Family Man, Mirzapur and Paatal Lok. It also has a collection of internationally acclaimed TV shows such as The Boys, Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, The Big Bang Theory, The Office and more. It also regularly releases Indian movies in every regional language.
|Mobile||Rs 149 per month||1||480p|
|Basic||Rs 199 per month||1||720p|
|Standard||Rs 149 per month||2||1080p|
|Premium||Rs 149 per month||4||4K|
Netflix is the global behemoth in OTT platforms that’s not doing all that well in India compared to the other players like Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video. This could be attributed to the leaning of the platform to more foreign content rather than regional content. It also asks for a higher subscription fee compared to others. In Netflix Plans there is a Mobile plan priced at Rs 149 per month, and the plans go up to Rs 649 for the Premium plan.
|Mobile only||Rs 599 per year||1||720p|
|LIV Premium yearly||Rs 999 per year||2||1080p|
|LIV Premium 6 months||Rs 699 per 6 months||2||1080p|
|LIV Premium monthly||Rs 299 per month||1||1080p|
Sony Liv is more like Disney+ Hotstar but has a Sony stable content catalogue. It comes with many popular Indian TV shows such as Crime Patrol, 10 ka Dum, Indian Idol, Kaun Banega Crorepati, and more. It also has rights for WWE shows and major live sports like UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Serie A, UEFA Europa League and more. They also release Indian movies in every regional language regularly. Sony Liv is known for the choice of films it adds to its platforms, some of which are underrated.
|12 months plan||Rs 699 per month||3||1080p|
|3 months plan||Rs 399 per month||3||1080p|
Like Sony Liv, Zee5 is the OTT platform from Zee stable. It comes with a content catalogue from all of the Zee channels. The traditional content from Zee networks makes this OTT stand out among others if you love those shows. It also regularly releases movies in various regional languages. The yearly plan of Zee5 comes to Rs 699, while the three months plan costs Rs 399.
Those were some of the most popular OTT platforms in India. Here is the complete list of all the OTT platforms in India:
- MX Player
- Eros Now
- Airtel Xstream
- Vodafone Play
How are the OTT platforms different from cable and TV services
Traditional TV services require a subscription to a cable TV service or DTH. But with OTT platforms, the content is streamed over the Internet, and the customers pay for the service directly to the OTT platform.
Is MX Player an OTT?
While MX Player started as a local video player, it has pivoted to an OTT platform after it was acquired by Times Internet.
MX Player is one of the best free OTT platforms, providing its services primarily in an Ad-supported format. It also has a paid subscription called MX Gold which removes the ads in the app.
Is YouTube an OTT?
YouTube is one of the most popular apps in the world; while it might not come off as an OTT like other platforms, it is still an OTT platform. It delivers content over the internet to various devices, the main difference being that YouTube depends on independent content creators for content.
How do I watch movies and web series via OTT platforms?
The first thing you need to start watching movies and web series on OTT platforms is the respectively paid subscriptions for the platforms you will be watching. Some OTT platforms, such as MX Player and YouTube, don’t require a paid subscription. Others, like Netflix and Prime Video, need a paid subscription to start using the app even.
Which is the cheapest OTT platform in India?
The cheapest OTT platform in India would be the free OTT apps such as MX Player and YouTube. The OTT platforms with
Which OTT is best in India?
That depends on what you want from an OTT platform. If you want more English TV shows, Netflix would be the best for you. If you want to watch cricket or Formula 1, Disney+ Hotstar is the best for you, and if you want to watch the Football series, Sony Liv is the one you should get.
Which is the largest OTT platform in the world?
Disney+ Hotstar is leading in subscriber numbers owing to its rights to top-rated cricket series such as IPL, T20 World Cup and more. Disney+ Hotstar also leads in terms of content and IP it has.
Which OTT has more subscribers?
Disney+ Hotstar has the most subscribers currently in India.
What are the disadvantages of OTT platforms?
OTT platforms are becoming what they sought to destroy. Various OTT platforms are looking like different TV channels now. The most significant disadvantage is that you can only get some of it on a single app or subscription.
Another disadvantage is if you need a good internet connection, preferably Wi-Fi, watching on OTT platforms can get messy.