Recently OTT gained a significant boost in the Indian market. Now entertainment is not limited to cinema or television bringing entertainment through cable network or satellite TV anymore. You can enjoy your favorite movies, video-on-demand, TV shows, etc. right on your smartphone or smart TV as long as you are connected to the internet.

What is OTT platform?

OTT refers to “over-the-top” entertainment media. It is a streaming media service provided directly to the viewers via the web, cable TV, broadcast, and satellite TV. The best OTT platforms deliver the flexibility of watching the favorite shows, movies, live shows, etc. through a range of connected devices.  These streaming services work just like any other application and are functional across all operating systems, smartphones (iOS and Android), as well as smart TVs.  OTT entertainment services are generally monetized via paid subscriptions, in-app banners, etc.

Top OTT video streaming applications popular in India

With the advent of Smart TVs, the entertainment providers are leveraging the strong points of these devices to expand the reach of their programs. The TV channels that were the forerunners of home entertainment are now coming to digital platforms and are running OTT video on demand services too. There are certain applications that are developed only for the internet and bring the consumers the convenience of entertainment on their internet connected devices. These applications are:

1. Netflix

Netflix is an online media services provider based in America. It was founded in 1997. Owned by Morgan Stanley and Reed Hastings, the company is providing video streaming service almost all over the world except for the countries like China, North Korea, Syria and Crimea.

The best series (also known as Netflix Originals) running on Netflix are Money Heist, Orange in the New Black, Sacred Games, House of Cards, and so on.

The first month is free for all subscribers; after one month they can pick from the plans priced at Rs 250, 500, 600 and 800.

2. Amazon Prime

Amazon is the closest competitor of Netflix. It is one of the 10 best OTT platforms in India currently. The user can find categories like Prime Originals, Movies in Your Language, TV series, Comedy Movies, Horror Movies and so on. Availability of various audio options, subtitles in various languages and flexibility of casting its content by pairing it with the TV promise the best quality entertainment to its subscribers. It comes in-built in smart devices and can also be accessed through Amazon Fire Stick.

The users can subscribe to this application using the offers, which are Rs 129 monthly and Rs 999 yearly.

3. ALT Balaji

ALTBalaji is the OTT subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms. It maintains one of the biggest media libraries comprising of Indian movies, TV shows, Kids entertainment and others. There are ALTBalaji originals also available for the viewers.

Apart from unlimited free content that is available on buying the subscription packages options of Rs 100 monthly and Rs 300 yearly, you can unlock uncountable entertaining materials like movies, TV series, etc. by paying the rent amount fixed for these.

4. Disney Hotstar

Hotstar is the streaming service of Star Network. This OTT video on demand service has recently tied up with Disney for bringing all kids entertainment and other programs, movies, etc. prepared by Disney Entertainment to its subscribers. It has also tied up with IPL and brings IPL matches to the viewers on their mobile phone and laptops, including of all other internet connected devices.

This streaming solution has tied up with Jio and Airtel network services and allows the users of these networks to watch sports matches for free. Subscription plans available are – Rs. 199 monthly, Rs. 999 yearly. Sports pack at Rs 299 is also available.

5. Voot

Voot is OTT entertainment service of Viacom 18 TV network. All shows produced by Viacom are available at this OTT platform. The content of all channels such as VH1, MTV, Colors, Nickelodeon, etc. can be watched in various languages on this video streaming service. It is absolutely free!

6. Zee5

ZEE TV has forayed into OTT entertainment with their streaming service ZEE5. This service has a rich repertoire of news, sports programs, movies, ZEE5 originals, TV series and so on. It is one of the most popular OTT streaming services that also provides regional cinema and entertainment to its viewers. The subscribers get a variety of plans to pick from ranging from Rs 49 monthly to Rs 999 yearly.

7. SonyLIV

Sony Entertainment’s OTT entertainment service is popular as SonyLIV. The fans of Sony TV programs and serials can find all of these served to them here, which they can access any time of the day. Kaun Banega Crorepati, Taarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashmah, 10 Ka Dum, etc. are some of the popular shows one can watch on repeat here.

8. YouTube

YouTubeis as mighty as Google in search engines and it can be called as Google of OTT entertainment. This platform is available free of cost and there are no charges for using it. However, you may find the movies and TV series on rent here. The users come to this platform for a variety of videos and clips apart from the TV programs and movies.

9. MX Player

MX player was originally a video player. With the changing times and technologies, it has transformed into OTT streaming service. It offers a lot of free content to its viewers. However, subscription part is still being worked upon.

10. Mubi

Though having a smaller view base at present, this OTT streaming application is catching up fast with the entertainment on demand lovers. The service is known for delivering niche content. Perhaps, this is the reason why Mubihas select audience. It scored 0.14 crores views in India only in April 2020 despite the small viewer base.

In consonance with the change in conditions around like need of social distancing, etc. the OTT platforms are providing easy alternative for the consumers to meet their entertainment needs. The release of a much awaited movie on Amazon Prime is testament to the fact that this medium has got a lot of potential for achieving the audience reach.

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