Over–the–top media services (OTT) platforms have become quite popular in India since last few years. An over-the-top (OTT) media service is a streaming media service offered directly to viewers via the internet. OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms, the companies that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.
Due to COVID-19 outbreak in the country, many filmmakers are now releasing their movies on major OTT platforms, instead of waiting for the theatres to re-open. India has lots of options when we talk about OTT services. Here are the Top 10 OTT platforms in India.
Features to Look for in on OTT Platform
There are a few different features to pay attention to in an OTT platform, including content delivery, live streaming features, VOD hosting capabilities, video monetization, video API, reliable security tools, and white-label streaming.
- Content delivery is an important aspect to consider as it contributes to what audience you can deliver content to in the highest quality. You’ll want to choose an OTT platform that works with a reliable, global content delivery network (CDN).
- Whether your business’s OTT platform includes live streaming functions, video on demand, or professional video hosting, or both should also have a heavy impact on your ultimate decisions.
- If your goal is to live stream, you’ll need to select an OTT video hosting platform that supports live streaming. Next on our key features list is API access. Video API provides programmatic access to video platform functionality. Broadcasters use video APIs in many different ways. You should choose a platform that has the video API that you need to customize your video content management system (CMS) to your liking.
- Player API access is another valuable tool. This works similarly to video API, but it involves customizing the video player vs. the video CMS.
- Monetization is another major feature of broadcasters. There are three main ways to monetize content: ads (AVOD), pay-per-view (TVOD), and subscriptions (SVOD). One-time events like sports are perfect for pay-per-view monetization, and subscriptions are perfect for recurring content. Ads are a great option for content that is designed to build brand awareness.
- Lastly, live streaming pricing should come into play. Your budget should be determined not only by your available resources but your intended return on investment. There are OTT platforms with a wide range of price points, but you want to look for one with consistent pricing and low bandwidth costs, as opposed to a pay-as-you-go model.
- Ultimate List of Best OOT Platforms in India
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is a very popular video streaming service or OTT service in India. Amazon Prime Video was launched in 2016 in India. Besides English, Prime Video is available in six Indian languages as of December 2018.
Amazon India launched Amazon Prime Music in February 2018. You can join Prime to watch the latest movies as well as award-winning Amazon Originals at Rs 129/month or Rs 999/year. Prime subscription presently also includes free Amazon music alongside unlimited free, quick delivery.
Netflix is one of the popular streaming services in India. The OTT platform offers three subscription plans including Basic, Standard HD and Premium Ultra HD. The Basic plan comes with a price tag of Rs 500, while the Standard HD pack is priced at Rs 650 and the Premium Ultra HD plan is available for Rs 800 per month.
Netflix faces tough competition with other OTT platforms in India such as Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot and Eros Now, each of which charge lower subscription rates than Netflix.
Disney+ Hotstar is an Indian over-the-top streaming service owned by Novi Digital Entertainment, a subsidiary of Disney’s Star India. It features two paid subscription plans— “VIP”, which focuses on domestic programmes and sports content (including Indian Premier League cricket), and “Premium” featuring premium international films and television series (including HBO, Showtime and other American original series).
As of July 2020, VIP Plan costs Rs 399 for a year and Premium Plan costs Rs 1,499 per year or Rs 299 for a monthly plan. As of March 2020, Disney+ Hotstar has at least 300 million active users
Voot is an Indian subscription video on demand (SVOD) service. Launched in March 2016, it forms the online arm of Viacom 18. It is Viacom 18’s advertising-led video-on-demand platform that is available as an app for iOS, KaiOS (JioPhone) and Android users, and a website for desktop consumption. Voot Select will cost Rs. 99 a month after a three-day free trial, or Rs. 499 for the full year after a 14-day free trial.
Voot is available only in India, and hosts over 40,000 hours of video content that includes shows from channels like MTV, Nickelodeon and Colors. Content is also available in multiple languages like Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu and Tamil.
Voot has content from Colors TV, MTV India, Nickelodeon India and other Viacom 18 owned television channels. It also hosts many Bollywood films for streaming. It has produced several ‘Voot Original’ shows for streaming as well.
In February 2020, Voot introduced paid subscription service called Voot Select. Voot Original series are made available only to paid subscribers. Some TV shows are being streamed a day before TV for its paid subscribers.
Sony Liv (marketed as SONY LIV and formerly as SonyLIV) is an Indian general entertainment, video on-demand service that is owned by Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd., based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Sony Liv’s Library consists of 18 years of content from the Sony Entertainment Network channels in India: Sony TV, Sony SAB, Sony Ten, Sony Max, Sony MAX 2, Sony PIX and Sony Six.
Sony Liv is the first Indian Over-the-top media service platform to produce music content for a Hollywood feature film – producing music for the Hindi version of the blockbuster titled Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence.
Sony Liv Premium subscription costs you Rs. 299 per month, Rs. 699 for six months, and Rs. 999 per year
MX Player is an Indian video streaming and video on demand platform developed by MX Media & Entertainment. It has over 280 million users globally.
The platform currently operates on an ad-supported model and has a streaming library of over 150,000 hours across 12 languages. It is available on iOS, Android and the web. The online Feature of MXPlayer is available absolutely free of cost for our users to explore.
In 2018, Times Internet acquired a majority stake in MX Player for $140 million. On 20 February 2019, MX Player was relaunched as an OTT platform with original programming. It has licensed contents from various Indian and International studios including FilmRise, Sonar Entertainment, Screen Media Films, Goldmine, Hungama, Shemaroo, Paramount Pictures and Sony Entertainment.
ALTBalaji is an Indian subscription based video on demand platform which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms Ltd. ALTBalaji is available across 32 different interfaces for its viewers.
The content has been made available on mobile and Tablet Devices (Apple phone, Apple iPad, Android phone, Android tablet), Web browser (Desktop Browser), Android TV, and Windows (Windows PC, Windows Mobile, Windows tablet).
Their website claims the platform to be the largest content bank seen in India. The stories range from drama, comedy, and romance, to thriller, crime, and mystery.
The content bank also includes 100+ hours of kids’ content as well as urban regional shows in Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil & many more languages. You have a choice of three streaming membership plans – 3 months for Rs 100, 6 months for Rs 180 or 12 months for Rs 300.
Eros Now is an Indian subscription based over the top, video on-demand entertainment and media platform, launched in 2012. It is owned and controlled by Eros Digital, the digital media management arm of Eros International plc. The network offers media streaming and video-on-demand services. The digital platform is accessible on most Internet-connected screen including mobile, tablets, web and TV.
The platform has blockbuster films like Cheeni Kum, Happy Bhag Jayegi, Manmarziyaan, Bajirao Mastani, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Goliyon ki raasleela Ram-Leela, Rockstar, Shubh Mangal Savdhan and more.
Eros Now also has web-series and films like A Monsoon Date, Maunn, Salute Siachen, Black & White interviews and more in their segment called E- Buzz. The subscription cost of the Eros Now Premium subscription service is Rs. 99 per month for a single device and Rs. 399 per year for a single device.
Arré is an Indian OTT platform based in Mumbai. It produces and publishes videos, audio series, web series, documentaries, text and doodles through its online channel. Founded by former Network 18 and TV 18 executives B. Sai Kumar, Ajay Chacko, and Sanjay Ray Chaudhari, it is a content-based startup and was launched in April 2016.
Dacast is a unified streaming platform that offers both VOD and live streaming hosting. It comes with a widespread of powerful features that are well suited for professional broadcasters This platform is password protected and easy to use to securely distribute video content to viewers around the world.
Dacast’s live streaming pricing plans begin with the Starter Plan, and include the following:
Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth & 50 GB of storage)
Event Plan: $63/month (includes 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage)
Scale Plan: $188/month (includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage)
However, Event and Scale users can also purchase custom plans for greater bandwidth needs.
BigFlix is Reliance Entertainment’s subscription-based movie streaming service. Last year in April, the platform got revamped and now has a subscription fee of Rs.50 per month after a month free trial.
The service offers five user profiles, and HD quality streaming on up to five devices simultaneously. Considering that Indians have a growing consumption of digital entertainment on a daily basis, BigFlix is sure to fill the void created by the decline of the home video market by digitally delivering movies.
The platform boasts a huge collection of movies which has 2,000 titles across 9 languages including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Bhojpuri, and Bengali. It has tied up with the likes of Dharma, Disney, Viacom, Phantom, Telegu One and Rajshri. It is important to note that Reliance does not want to focus on English-centric content and will be very limited in size. It is claimed by Reliance that BigFlix has already a huge user base of 3.9 million users.
Viu is launched in India by a Hong Kong-based PCCW Media company called Vuclip. It is a yet another video-on-demand service which is at a subscription fee of Rs.99 per month (after a one month trial) for those who wish to consume ad-free content and experience the premium version.
Although it also has a free version with thousands of hours of content. The service boasts of 17,000+ hours of fresh Bollywood and Indian regional movies in 10+ languages. 70% of INR 100 Crore Club movies are on Viu alongside 3000+ hours of music and popular English serials.
Viu has established partnerships with content providers across India including Reliance Big Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., Sony Music, Zee Digital Convergence, Tips Industries Ltd., Balaji Motion Pictures, Rajshri Entertainment, Unisys Infosolutions, Shemaroo, Anand Audio, and BBC Worldwide. Studies have shown that freshness of content, as well as variety in the content catalog, are considered to be the most important to Indian viewers. All of this is what Viu delivers as entertainment for all and not just for the elite few.
We’re sure that you know now lots about OTT platforms and their capabilities.
To fill any gaps, in this section we’ll try to answer some of your most common questions and make sure you leave our blog as an OTT expert.
Q1. Is Netflix an OTT platform?
Netflix is a subscription-based OTT streaming service, rather than an OTT platform, that allows users to stream movies as well as TV shows on devices that are connected to the internet.
Q2. How do OTT platforms make money?
There are three main routes through which over-the-top platforms can make money. These are subscriptions, pay-per-view, and advertisements.
Q3. How many OTT platforms are there?
There are dozens of OTT platforms around the world, including Uscreen, Vimeo OTT, and Brightcove.
Even though it’s impossible to get an exact number of platforms, there are various solutions out there to cover different needs that people have when it comes to video streaming and monetization.
Q4. What’s the difference between OTT and connected TV?
Over-the-top (OTT) platforms help creators deliver video content that’s distributed through the internet and goes beyond the traditional television set.
On the other hand, connected TV (CTV) is any television set, like gaming consoles and smart TVs, that use the internet to stream videos.
Q5. What is the difference between OTT and IPTV?
The biggest difference between OTT and IPTV, which stands for internet protocol television, is the network each of the two uses.
OTT uses an open network – the internet – to stream videos while IPTV uses closed networks, such as LAN and WAN.
Q6. Is OTT the same as streaming?
Streaming is only one of the capabilities that OTT services provide their users with.
Put another way, OTT services include any type of video streaming media and video content that goes through the internet to get to users.
Q7. Is OTT the future?
OTT services have definitely changed and continue to change the entertainment industry by making streaming services affordable and accessible to a wider audience.
We can only assume that the popularity of video content will continue to increase and in that context, we would say that OTT is, indeed, the future.
Q8. Which OTT platform is best?
We respect that there are many great OTT platforms out there. You can make selection as per your need.