OTT platform or “Over the top” platforms are growing exponentially in India in 2021. Each passing month, a new OTT service is added to India’s already growing list of OTT platforms. In this blog, I will review the best OTT platforms in India.
Are you wondering what the OTT platform is? Or which are the best OTT platforms in India? Or even what is OTT abbreviation? Then this blog will provide you with all the details and share the top 5 OTT platforms in India in 2021.
Let’s together explore the world of Over The Top platforms in India.
Blog read time: 10.10 mins
In this blog, you will find:
– What is the meaning and history of the OTT platforms in India?
– List of all the OTT service providers in India.
– Review of the best OTT platforms in India.
– Comparing the top 3 OTT services in India.
– Pros and cons of Over-The-Top usage.
Finally, we hope you find our research interesting and enjoyable.
The year 2020 saw the rise of OTT platforms’ viewership. There are now 40+ OTT service providers in India. It’s a ₹50 billion industry. The number of OTT platforms in India is growing, and so is the channel list.
What is OTT platform?
The meaning or the full form of OTT is “Over-The-Top”. OTT platforms provide a service that streams media/audios/videos directly to viewers over the internet.
So a good example would be the “Video On Demand” (VOD) service. You pay a subscription fee for such a type of service. In return, you get to watch the available videos on a mobile, tablet, laptop, computer, and TV. Also, you get the flexibility of watching it anywhere, anytime.
Following are the major categories of OTT platforms:
- Advertising video on demand (AVOD)
- Subscription video on demand (SVOD)
- Freemium & transactional video on demand (TVOD)
In 2021 subscription-based market (SVOD) continued to grow significantly. This OTT type is the focus of this article.
Youtube is also an OTT platform. It’s the biggest OTT platform in India.
We’re not considering it for this post because it would be a separate blog in itself. Plus, everyone already knows about it. 🙂
How are the OTT platforms 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.|
How did the OTT Platforms start 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.
What is the complete list of OTT platforms in India?
The list of OTT platforms in India is growing. Regional content channels are also increasing. You can check the complete channel list of OTT platforms in India here. This list of OTT channels also contains the content language for your ease.
What effect did lockdown have on OTT platforms, especially video-on-demand services?
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 and made the OTT platforms more accessible to the general public.
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.
Complete 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|
Review: The best 5 OTT platforms/streaming services in India
There are 40+ OTT video-on-demand platforms providing video streaming services in India. Following are the top 5 OTT Platforms/video-streaming services in India. Are these the best in the OTT platforms in India? I think so, if not the best, but they are industry leaders.
Top OTT platforms in India
Following are the top OTT platforms in India.
Let’s check out each OTT platform in more detail below.
Hotstar (now Disney+ Hotstar)
First on our list of OTT platforms in India is Disney+ Hotstar. Star India owned Hotstar and was launched in 2015.
Hotstar is the most dominant OTT platform of video streaming service in India. They boast more than 300 million active subscribers.
In 2019, The Walt Disney Company acquired its US parent company 21st Century Fox. Since April 2020, Disney+Hotstar came into existence.
Cricket world cup (2015) and Game of Thrones series (2016) gave it significant viewership. And Indian Premier League (2019) live streaming made it the top choice.
Disney+ Hotstar subscription cost (updated on July 2021)
Following is the subscription pricing for Disney+ Hotstar
- The VIP plan is ₹ 399/year
- The Premium plan is ₹ 1,499/year (₹299/month)
Benefits available with Disney+ Hotstar subscription
Following are the benefits that each plan includes
- HD quality streaming.
- Disney+ movies, Marvel superhero movies and kids show available only in dubbed language.
- Content has ads.
- You can watch it on a single screen at-a-time.
- English show and Disney+ originals not available.
- 4K quality streaming.
- Disney+ movies, Marvel superhero movies and kids show available in English and dubbed language.
- Ad-free content.
- You can watch it on two screens at-a-time.
- English shows and Disney+ originals available.
Languages available in Disney+ Hotstar
The content is available in Marathi, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, English and Indonesian.
Link to Disney+ Hotstar subscription
Upcoming content on Disney+ Hotstar
Amazon Prime Video
Second, on our list of OTT platforms in India is Amazon’s Prime. Amazon Prime Video or Prime video is an OTT platform that came to India in 2016. It started in the United States in 2006 and is owned by Amazon Inc.
Amazon Prime is also available in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, etc.
It has a vast library of movies and TV series. The company also produces original shows and original content like Family Man, Mirzapur, etc.
Amazon Prime is the second most subscribed program in India. Because of its low cost and good quality content.
It also has many famous old TV shows like Seinfeld, The Big Band Theory, The Office, etc.
Amazon Prime Video subscription cost (updated on July 2021)
Following is the subscription pricing for Amazon Prime India
- Join 3 months of Prime at ₹ 329
- Join 1 year of Prime at ₹ 999
Benefits available with Amazon Prime Video subscription
The plan includes the following benefits
- Unlimited free and fast delivery on Amazon Store.
- Ad-free music on Prime Music.
- Watch movies and TV series on Prime Video.
- Read ebooks and comics on Prime Reading.
- Enjoy free in-game content available on Gaming with Prime.
Languages available in Amazon Prime Video
The content is available in Marathi, English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, and Gujarati.
Link to Amazon Prime Video subscription
Click on the banner
Upcoming content on Amazon Prime
Third, on our list of OTT platforms in India is Netflix. Netflix Inc is the parent company. It launched Netflix in the US in 1997.
In 2016, Netflix launched its OTT platform of video streaming service in India. It is also available in many countries like the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia, etc.
They are famous for their Netflix Original content and original shows. They have created high budget TV shows and movies. Following are some examples of original content: House of Cards, Money Heist, The Crown, Peaky Blinders, Sacred Games, and many others.
It has the most expensive membership of all the services. It has less number of members but has the highest watch time. This data means that it has the best content but is expensive for many.
Netflix subscription cost (updated on July 2021)
Following is the subscription pricing for Netflix India
- The mobile-only plan is ₹ 199/month (₹ 2,388/year)
- The basic plan is ₹ 499/month (₹ 5,988/year)
- The standard plan is ₹ 649/month (₹ 7,788/year)
- The premium plan is ₹ 799/month (₹ 9,588/year)
Benefits available with Netflix subscription
Following is the difference between the Netflix plans
- Mobile-only plan: you can watch only on one mobile or tablet at-a-time at SD (480p) resolution. Cannot watch on computer or TV.
- Basic plan: you can watch on one device (mobile, tablet, computer or TV) at-a-time at SD (480p) resolution.
- Standard plan: you can watch on two (mobile, tablet, computer or TV) devices at-a-time at HD (1080p) resolution.
- Premium plan: you can watch on four devices (mobile, tablet, computer or TV) at-a-time at Ultra HD (4K) and HDR resolution.
Languages available in Netflix
The content is available in English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, and Kannada.
Link to Netflix subscription
Upcoming content on Netflix
Fourth, on our list of OTT platforms in India is Zee 5. In 2013, Zee entertainment launched its OTT platform DittoTV. DittoTV was an aggregator service that contained shows from across all media channels. Shows from Star, Sony, Zee, etc., were available in it.
So it dissolved DittoTV in 2018 and created its OTT platform called Zee5.
It has 1000+ movies and 100+ live TV channels.
Zee5 subscription cost (updated on July 2021)
Following is the subscription pricing for Zee5’s Premium (all-access) plan
- Combo: Radhe + 1 Year ZEE5 Premium for ₹ 499
Benefits available with Zee5 subscription
You would get the following benefits:
- One time Radhe ZEEPLEX rental with 21 days and 4 hours of watch time validity.
- Latest TV shows from ZEE before the telecast
- Zindagi TV shows
- Zee5 originals
- ALT Balaji shows
- 4500+ movies
- Stream on five devices at-a-time.
Languages available in Zee5
The content is available in Marathi, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Odia, Gujarati, English.
Link to Zee5 subscription
Upcoming content on Zee5
Fifth, on our list of OTT platforms in India, is Sony LIV. In 2013, Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd launched its OTT platform SonyLIV. It has more than 700+ movies and many TV shows.
It also produces original content and original shows like Lovebytes, Married Women Diaries, etc.
SonyLIV subscription cost (updated on July 2021)
Following is the subscription pricing for SonyLIV India.
- WWE Network plan is ₹ 299/year.
(You can only watch live WWE events, PPVs and NXT. for everything else, you need a premium plan.)
- LIV Premium plan is ₹ 999/year.
Benefits available with SonyLIV subscription
The plan includes the following benefits:
- Latest international shows.
- You can also watch all live sports and TV channels.
- All LIV special+ & KBC PlayAlong gold.
- Also, Sony and SAB show on TV time.
- You can watch on two devices at-a-time.
Languages available in SonyLIV
The content is available in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, and Punjabi.
Link to SonyLIV subscription
Upcoming content on SonyLIV
Compare: the top 3 OTT platforms/video-streaming services in India
Following is a quick comparison of the top 3 OTT platforms in India’s highest subscription plan.
- Price: ₹ 1,499/year.
- Devices at-a-time: two.
- Resolution: 4K
- Top Pro: All Marvel superhero and kids content from Disney+ are available on it.
- Top Con: Needs more original shows.
- Price: ₹ 999/year.
- Devices at-a-time: three.
- Resolution: 1080p
- Top Pro: Best original Indian movies and TV series.
- Top Con: Not that much variety.
- Price: ₹ 799/month.
- Devices at-a-time: four.
- Resolution: 4K
- Top Pro: Best original movies and TV series.
- Top Con: Very expensive.
Do you think someone else should be there in the top 3? let us know in the comments section below.
Want to know which OTT platform I prefer? Find it in the concluding section.
Top 5 pros and cons of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms
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.
Review: The best 10 regional OTT platforms in India
Most of the OTT platforms serve English and Hindi content. But with the advancement of OTT platforms, the demand for content in regional language has been growing. Therefore, many regional OTT platforms have been gaining prominence in the last few years to cater to this demand.
Check in this OTT platform list for your preferred language content.
Following are the top regional OTT platforms in India.
If you are looking for content in the Bengali language, then check out Hoichoi. It is a Bengali regional OTT platform that has 500+ Bengali movies and 1000+ songs available on it.
South Indian content in Tamil, Telugu, Kanada, Malayalam, etc., is also gaining prominence. SUN NXT is a South Indian regional OTT platform with 4000+ movies and 300+ TV shows in South Indian languages.
Are you a Telugu movie and TV shows fan? Then check out Aha. They have an excellent collection of Telugu movies.
Are you a Malayalam movie and TV shows fan? Then check out Koode. They have content in Malayalam that is free. You can also find a lot of Malayali movies and series here.
The online audience for Marathi cinema and web series is growing. Planet Marathi is an OTT platform that is catering to the need for Marathi content online.
Asianet Mobile TV+
Malayali cinemas and web series is gaining an audience in UAE and India. Asianet mobile TV plus has multiple cable and direct broadcast channels. There are plans to add content in other South Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kanada, etc.
Started by Reliance in 2008, Big Flix is the oldest OTT platform in India. They have movies and web series in many regional Sout Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kanada. They also have content in Hindi and English.
Another upcoming regional OTT platform that serves content in the Bengali language is Addatimes. It is one of the fastest-growing Bengali OTT platforms. You can also watch live sports events and play music on them.
If you are looking for movies and TV series in Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, etc., then Hungama is for you. Hungama.com is a subscription-based regional OTT platform. They have more than 8000+ movies and 500+ short films.
Looking for Malayalam OTT pltform? Then Manorama Max is for you. They have live news and curated programmes. They have combined Manorama News and Mazhavil Manorama.
Top OTT audio platforms in India
Following are some of the top OTT audio platforms in India
- Apple Music
- Amazon Prime Music
- Wynk Music
- Google Play
- Hungama Music
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.
Which is the best OTT platform to watch live cricket and sports?
Disney+ Hotstar and Sony LIV are your best OTT platforms to watch live IPL cricket matches. They also provide live streaming of other sports like soccer/football, tennis, etc.
Which is the best OTT platform for Hindi/Bollywood movies?
Amazon prime is the best OTT platform to watch Hindi/Bollywood movies. It also has a vast collection of old Hindi movies.
Which is the best OTT platform for English/Hollywood movies?
Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar are the best OTT platforms to watch English/Hollywood movies. They have a wide variety. Also, the latest movies and TV series are released here first.
Which is the best OTT platform for Children?
VOOT Kids and Youtube Kids is the best OTT platforms for kids. They have a vast collection that kids would love.
Which is the best OTT platform for Documentaries?
Discovery+ is the best OTT platform for watching documentaries. They cover documentaries on nature, history, sports, etc.
Which is the most expensive OTT platform?
Netflix is the most expensive, but the quality of content is also the best.
Which is the cheapest OTT platform?
YouTube is free but with advertisements. In paid subscription, Zee 5 has the cheapest subscription plans.
Can I watch the OTT platform on mobile?
Yes, you can watch OTT platforms on a mobile, tablet, laptop, computer, and TV.
What is OTT platform full form?
OTT is an abbreviation, and its full form in cinema is Over The Top.
Is Netflix an OTT platform?
Yes, it is!
I remember the days when I was a kid and used to watch programs on TV. They were primarily cartoons on Cartoon Network. I knew the schedule when my favourite programs started, and I planned my schoolwork around not to miss my favourite shows.
But now I have control, and I can watch what I want and when I want. The quality of content on these OTT platforms is also getting better. It is like the home delivery of your favourite movies and TV shows.
Also, watching these varieties of content has increased my outlook on life. Today I know more about various cultures of the world. All thanks to these OTT platforms that are bringing the world to my home.
It is also much cheaper than going to cinemas. We make it a whole family affair. We all watch some of the movies together. It can’t replace the experience of a movie theatre but is better than cable TV.
OTT platforms are on the cusp of disrupting the status of cable and TV channels. By 2025, they would overtake all media platforms. Also, since the internet is reaching tier II+ cities, the growth of Over-The-Top platforms will multiply. Check out the OTT platform list.
Read about the complete winners’ list of Filmfare OTT awards 2020
What should you choose?
- Amazon Prime Video: If you’re starting and the budget is tight, go for Amazon Prime Video. It has the highest return-on-investment (ROI). The full features and services that you get for the price are tremendous. It also has vast Hindi content.
- Disney+ Hotstar: If you have kids or are a Marvel superhero movies fan, nothing is better than Disney+ Hotstar. News, sports and TV soaps are also available. Especially with their planned shows coming in 2021. You cannot miss it.
- Netflix: If you want quality, then go for Netflix. It has the best movies and shows. Their interface and service are also user-friendly.
Since I am a big fan of stand-up comedies, here is my top 10 stand-up comedies list. Do check it out!
Which OTT platform is the best?
I have subscriptions to all three. I know, I am rich! 😎
I live in a joint family, and together we have subscriptions to all three is a more accurate statement.
Netflix is the best OTT platform for me.
- It has the best interface.
- It’s so convenient.
- The Netflix Originals are the best.
- They are getting better with Hindi and regional content also.
- I have never faced any lag or speed issue with it.
My second best OTT platform is the Disney+ Hotstar. You can find all superhero movies and Disney movies here. It still needs to improve its interface.
The year 2021 would be great with the lineup that all the OTT platforms have planned. I am excited about it.
Check out upcoming movies on each of the OTT platforms.
Check out upcoming TV series on each of the 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.