OTT is an abbreviation, and it stands for “Over the top”. Now you know the full form of OTT, but what does it mean? In short, an OTT platform is a type of platform that serves content over the internet. OTT platforms have been growing in India in 2020 and 2021. This blog will cover the whole topic in detail.
This blog is your complete reference guide about the OTT platforms in India.
OTT platforms are all the rage in India. Let’s begin.
Blog read time: 9.3 mins
In this blog, you will find:
– What is the meaning and history of the OTT platforms?
– List of OTT platforms in India.
– Our picks of OTT platforms.
– Pros and cons of Over-The-Top usage.
This blog is purposefully not technical, and I’ve kept it very simple. I want you to understand the OTT platform’s meaning without making it complicated.
We know OTT full form is Over-The-Top, but let’s begin from the start.
Beginning of OTT platforms
In 2005 Youtube was launched. Google purchased it in 2006. It was the beginning of online content being available to the audience.
But the story of the OTT platform serving movies was rooted earlier.
In the 1990s, there were two companies in the USA – Blockbuster and NetFlix. Both of these used to give movies on rent on CDs and DVDs. Did you know that there were physical stores where one could go, choose the movies and rent them? doesn’t it sound strange today. Initially, all transactions were manual, but later postal services were also engaged.
In 2007 NetFlix started rolling out its online streaming service.
Between the two, I found Netflix was always more customer-oriented. They made things more straightforward, and also their interface was more accessible to customers.
Blockbuster also started with its streaming service. But somehow, their service and features were never consumer-friendly.
The main reason why NetFlix emerged as the leader of the video-on-demand service was that it was technologically solid. Also, they have continuously innovated and come up with better and more user-friendly platforms.
Fun Fact: I was a member of Blockbuster service. Maybe because the store was closest to where I lived, or perhaps the name “Blockbuster” sounded more authentic. 😀
Apple launched Apple TV in 2007, which used to feed TV with movies, shows, etc., that were on your Mac devices.
Samsung launched its first internet-connected TV in 2008.
Amazon launched Amazon Unbox, which was a video service, in 2006.
So all the industry leaders started laying down the groundwork since the 2000s to platforms that would provide OTT services.
What is OTT platform?
OTT means “Over-The-Top”, and it is a type of service that streams content, for example, media, audio, videos, etc., directly to viewers on any device via the internet.
The platform providing this service is called the OTT platform. The most famous example is YouTube. It provides video (i.e. content) directly to viewers (i.e. you, me, etc.) on any device (i.e. phone, laptop, etc.) over the internet (i.e. Airtel, Jio, etc.).
If you don’t know what YouTube is, then this blog is not for you. 😉 Please stop reading and go and check out YouTube. Almost two billion users are watching YouTube per month; why aren’t you?
The OTT platform meaning in Hindi
OTT एक प्रकार की सेवा है जो सामग्री को स्ट्रीम करती है, उदाहरण के लिए, मीडिया, ऑडियो, वीडियो इत्यादि, सीधे इंटरनेट के माध्यम से किसी भी डिवाइस पर दर्शकों को। और इस सेवा को प्रदान करने वाले प्लेटफॉर्म को ओटीटी प्लेटफॉर्म कहा जाता है।
सबसे अच्छा उदाहरण YouTube है जो एक OTT प्लेटफॉर्म है। यह इंटरनेट (यानी एयरटेल, जियो, आदि) पर किसी भी डिवाइस (यानी फोन, लैपटॉप, आदि) पर दर्शकों (यानी आप, मैं, आदि) को सीधे वीडियो (यानी सामग्री) प्रदान करता है।
The OTT platform meaning in Tamil
OTT என்பது ஒரு வகை சேவையாகும், இது உள்ளடக்கத்தை ஸ்ட்ரீம் செய்கிறது, எடுத்துக்காட்டாக, மீடியா, ஆடியோ, வீடியோக்கள் போன்றவை, இணையம் வழியாக எந்த சாதனத்திலும் பார்வையாளர்களுக்கு நேரடியாக. இந்த சேவையை வழங்கும் தளம் OTT தளம் என்று அழைக்கப்படுகிறது.
OTT இயங்குதளத்தின் மிகவும் பிரபலமான உதாரணம் YouTube ஆகும். இணையத்தில் (அதாவது ஏர்டெல், ஜியோ, முதலியன) எந்த சாதனத்திலும் (அதாவது தொலைபேசி, லேப்டாப், முதலியன) பார்வையாளர்களுக்கு (அதாவது நீங்கள், நான், முதலியன) நேரடியாக வீடியோவை (அதாவது உள்ளடக்கம்) வழங்குகிறது.
The OTT platform meaning in Telugu
OTT అనేది ఇంటర్నెట్ ద్వారా ఏదైనా పరికరంలోని వీక్షకులకు నేరుగా కంటెంట్, ఉదాహరణకు, మీడియా, ఆడియో, వీడియోలు మొదలైన వాటిని ప్రసారం చేసే ఒక రకమైన సేవ. మరియు ఈ సేవను అందించే ప్లాట్ఫారమ్ను OTT ప్లాట్ఫారమ్ అంటారు.
OTT ప్లాట్ఫారమ్కు అత్యంత ప్రసిద్ధ ఉదాహరణ యూట్యూబ్. ఇది ఇంటర్నెట్లో (అంటే ఎయిర్టెల్, జియో, మొదలైనవి) ఏదైనా పరికరంలో (అనగా ఫోన్, ల్యాప్టాప్ మొదలైనవి) వీక్షకులకు (అంటే మీరు, నేను, మొదలైనవి) నేరుగా వీడియో (అంటే కంటెంట్) అందిస్తుంది.
The OTT platform meaning in Malayalam
ഇന്റർനെറ്റ് വഴി ഏത് ഉപകരണത്തിലും കാഴ്ചക്കാർക്ക് നേരിട്ട് ഉള്ളടക്കം, ഉദാഹരണത്തിന്, മീഡിയ, ഓഡിയോ, വീഡിയോകൾ മുതലായവ സ്ട്രീം ചെയ്യുന്ന ഒരു തരം സേവനമാണ് OTT. ഈ സേവനം നൽകുന്ന പ്ലാറ്റ്ഫോമിനെ OTT പ്ലാറ്റ്ഫോം എന്ന് വിളിക്കുന്നു.
ഒരു OTT പ്ലാറ്റ്ഫോമിന്റെ ഏറ്റവും പ്രശസ്തമായ ഉദാഹരണം YouTube ആണ്. ഇന്റർനെറ്റിൽ (അതായത് എയർടെൽ, ജിയോ, മുതലായവ) ഏത് ഉപകരണത്തിലും (അതായത് ഫോൺ, ലാപ്ടോപ്പ് മുതലായവ) കാഴ്ചക്കാർക്ക് (അതായത് നിങ്ങൾ, ഞാൻ, മുതലായവ) നേരിട്ട് വീഡിയോ (അതായത് ഉള്ളടക്കം) നൽകുന്നു.
Different types of OTT platforms
You are surrounded by platforms that are providing you with different types of OTT services. Some OTT services are free, and some are subscription-based. So you can choose as per your preference.
Following are the different types of OTT services available in India.
- Audio OTT platform – Spotify, Saavn, etc.
- Video OTT platform – NetFlix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar, etc.
- Media OTT platform – Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
- Messaging OTT platform – WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram, etc.
- Commerce OTT platform – Amazon, Flipkart, etc.
Many platforms are now an amalgamation of multiple OTT services, i.e. they provide audio, video, etc., all in one platform. Amazon Prime is a great example.
The video OTT platforms are all the rage nowadays, so the term “OTT platform” is loosely used to refer to video OTT platforms.
What do you need to view content on the OTT platform?
You don’t need a cable connection or any TV service to access OTT content.
Following are the basic things necessary to view OTT content.
- Internet connection – Airtel, Jio, etc.
- Internet-enabled device – mobile, laptop, etc.
- OTT service provider – NetFlix, YouTube, etc.
How is the OTT platform service different from cable and tv services?
The main difference is that you can choose what to watch and when to watch. Another huge advantage is you can pause and play. Following are other comparisons between OTT and cable/TV service.
|OTT service||Cable/TV service|
|The service requires an internet connection.||The service requires either a cable, dish, set-top box.|
|You can choose what to watch and when to watch.||It has fixed programs running at predefined times on selected channels.|
|You can pause and play.||No such option.|
|Higher ROI, thus costing less.||Lower ROI, thus costing more.|
|You can binge-watch an entire web/TV series in one go.||TV episodes are available as per the scheduled time.|
|There are no device type restrictions. Most modern devices support OTT.||The service works only with TV.|
OTT Platforms in India
Today we’re surrounded by platforms providing OTT services, and it’s hard to imagine a time without them.
The beginning of OTT platforms in India
In 2008, Reliance Entertainment started BIGFlix. This introduction began the journey of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms in India. The nexGTv in 2010 was the first mobile app.
Reliance was the one that started live streaming TV and on-demand services in India. And ever since then, OTT platforms in India haven’t looked back. It’s growing from strength to strength.
Did you know: Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 were the first cricket matches to be live-streamed on the OTT platform.
Effect of Covid-19 lockdown on OTT platforms
Lockdown is an emergency protocol that prohibits people from leaving a specified area. The Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world since 2020. So to stop the human-to-human spread, many countries went into lockdown. India also asked its citizen to stay at home.
With nothing much to do at home, the usage of OTT started growing. Especially in metro cities, where the internet infrastructure was already in place. The speed and cost of internet plans gave a significant boost to usage. Airtel, Reliance Jio, BSNL, Vodafone, etc., made the internet more affordable to the general public. It’s because of this and good internet speed that made OTT platforms gain momentum.
Usage statistics for 2020:
– The five metro cities account for 60% of OTT usage.
– Indians under the age of 35 years account for 90% of usage.
– Males account for 80% of usage.
Due to lockdown, the movie theatres were also closed. Filming of movies and TV series had also stopped. All this made OTT platforms the only option available for watching the content of our choice. Also, the vast collection of movies and tv/web series makes it an irresistible opportunity.
OTT made binge-watching possible
Binge-watching means watching several episodes of your favourite web series back-to-back. It’s also called binge-viewing or marathon-viewing. This binge-watching was impossible with cable/TV because an episode of a TV series is released once every week.
OTT platforms deliver the entire season so that you can watch all the web series episodes in one shot. Hence binge-watching became a possibility.
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is a content streaming device that lets you access OTT Platforms on your TV. Thus it helps in converting your ordinary TV to a Smart TV.
Do remember to check the Fire TV Stick’s compatibility with your TV before buying it.
OTT Platform List in India (with content language)
Following is the list of OTT platforms in India. This OTT platforms channel list is regularly updated. It contains the most famous OTT platforms in India currently functional.
We have also provided a list of languages that the content is available. If we missed any OTT, then do let us know.
|OTT Platform||Content languages|
|Airtel Xstream||Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi|
|ALTBalaji||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil|
|Amazon Prime Video||Marathi, English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali|
|Asianet Mobile TV+||Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi|
|BIGFlix||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali|
|Cinemas of India||Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi|
|Disney+ Hotstar||Hindi, English, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Kannada, Marathi|
|Eros Now||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi|
|Hungama||Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil|
|JioCinema||English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, Gujarati|
|Joy Tv||English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, Gujarati|
|Lionsgate Play||English, Hindi|
|MX Player||Marathi, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Odia, Gujarati, English|
|Netflix||English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada|
|ShemarooMe||Hindi, Telugu, Gujarati|
|SonyLIV||Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi|
|Spuul||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, English|
|Sun NXT||Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, (Marathi coming soon)|
|Tubi Tv||English, Hindi|
|TVFPlay||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil|
|Ullu App||Hindi, Telugu|
|Viu||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil|
|Voot||English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali,|
|Vuclip||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil|
|YouTube Movies||English, Hindi,|
|YuppTV||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada|
|Zee5||Marathi, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Odia, Gujarati, English|
5 Best OTT Platforms in India for watching movies and shows
Following is the list of the top 5 OTT platforms in India that provide video services for you to watch movies and shows online.
The Next 10 Best OTT Platforms in India for watching movies and shows
In addition to India’s top 5 OTT platforms, the following are the next best 10 upcoming OTT platforms. They are upcoming and growing fast.
- ALT Balaji
- Eros Now
- MX player
- Jio cinema
- Airtel Xstream
- Apple Tv+
- Book My Show Stream
- TVF Play
We have reviewed each platform and also provided subscription details. Click on the name to see its review.
Best OTT Platforms in India for listening to songs and music
Following is the list of top OTT platforms in India that provide audio services for listening to songs and music.
- Apple Music
- Amazon Prime Music
- Wynk Music
- Google Play
- Hungama Music
10 Best regional OTT Platforms in India for watching movies, web series and shows
Following is the list of the top 10 OTT platforms in India that provide video services in India’s regional languages. You can watch movies, web series and shows in your preferred native languages.
- Hoichoi – Bengali regional OTT platform
- Sun NXT – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Bengali regional OTT platform
- Aha – Telugu regional OTT platform
- Koode – Malayalam regional OTT platform
- Planet Marathi – Marathi regional OTT platform
- Asianet Mobile TV+ – Malayalam regional OTT platform
- BIGFlix – Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, etc. regional OTT platform
- Addatimes – Bengali regional OTT platform
- Hungama – Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi, Bengali, etc. regional OTT platform
- Manorama Max – Malayalam regional OTT platform
Click on the name of the regional OTT platform to see our review.
10 Best OTT Platforms in the USA
Following is the list of the top 10 OTT platforms in the USA that are providing video services.
- Vimeo OTT
Pros and cons of OTT services
It’s a great tool of the modern days but only if enjoyed responsibly.
Following are some Pros and Cons of the OTT Platforms.
- You can choose what to watch.
- You can decide when to watch. Also, pause and play at your convenience.
- The quality of the content is better.
- International and regional language content is also available.
- Almost all devices can stream the media. You can consume it anywhere.
- Don’t binge-watch because it is harmful to health.
- Don’t get addicted. Enjoy it responsibly 😉
- Currently, there is limited censorship on OTT platforms. So need to put parental control on what kids are watching.
- Internet consumption goes up.
- With too many choices, you don’t know what to watch. Because of it, more time gets wasted in choosing what to watch.
Amazon’s Audible is another great OTT platform for listening to your favourite books. Please read our complete guide on Amazon Audible here.
Following are some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are OTT platforms in India regulated?
The Indian Government included OTT video streaming platforms under the Information and Broadcast (I&B) ministry. They have introduced a three-tier regulatory mechanism.
The OTT platform itself will make Tier-one regulations by appointing a grievance redressal officer. Tier-two grievance redressal regulations will be made by a self-regulatory body comprised of all the OTT platforms. The I&B ministry would do Tier-three by setting a committee to hear grievances.
How are OTT platforms earning their revenue?
Most of the OTT platforms have paid subscription services, so that is their primary revenue stream. Ott platforms that provide content for free earn from advertisements. Also, big platforms like Netflix, Prime, etc., have started producing their content to bring down their net cost.
Can I watch the OTT platform on mobile?
Yes, you can watch OTT platforms on a mobile, tablet, laptop, computer, and TV.
Which is the biggest OTT platform?
Out of all the OTT platforms, NetFlix has the most number of subscribers. YouTube is the most-watched OTT service. Its users watch more than a billion hours of video on it per day.
OTT platforms and services have given a new meaning to the world of entertainment. Gone are the days where we used to watch scheduled programming on TV channels. Now you have the power to choose and watch what you want when you want and where you want.
OTT in India is estimated to grow to $ 5 Billion in the industry by 2025. More and more quality content is being produced. Platforms with content in regional languages are gaining popularity.
OTT in India is growing, and dare I say; it’s exploding.
I am excited, how about you?
Which are the best OTT platforms in India? Here is our review of the best OTT platforms in India.
Check out the upcoming movies on top OTT platforms.
Check out the upcoming TV series on top OTT platforms.
Do you enjoy content in regional languages? Then check our review of the best regional OTT platforms in India.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.