In 2000, Blockbuster was the largest media outlet. It was approached by a new company to start a digital media platform for content distribution. Obviously thinking the idea was stupid Blockbuster turned the company down.
Almost 20 years later.
The company is known as Netflix and Blockbuster is almost shut down due to digital platforms taking over the media content.
The smartphone revolution has changed how we view the world and its various aspects. It has also changed the way we get our information and entertainment. We have an app for almost anything today, from exercise to guitar lessons. Same is the case with streaming services.
Phones have made it possible to take your content anywhere at any time. To have power over what to view and how. The possibilities are endless.
However, if we take a closer look. We will understand there are three applications which have laid the foundation for other streaming services. Paving the way for others to follow.
Amazon Prime Video Vs Netflix Vs Hotstar
These are the holy trinity of streaming services. Dominating the digital platforms, these streaming service providers have the largest content library. Let’s dive into deep about Amazon Prime Video Vs Netflix Vs Hotstar.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon is an internet-based retail company. Started off in a garage it has expanded and become a global phenomenon.
One of its subsidiaries is the Amazon prime video, it’s very own streaming service.
The advantage of having Amazon Prime Video is, it comes free with Amazon Prime, one of the premium services provided by Amazon. Providing the user with great content with discounted deals and free deliveries.
Amazon prime was launched on 7 September 2006 as Amazon Unbox. Over the years it has changed names and acquired a lot of content, from American TV shows like The Office to classic Japanese Anime such as Dororo.
Founded in 1997, Netflix was one of the first companies to realize the scope of digital content. Starting off by acquiring content, Netflix is now known better for its own produced content such as
· Stranger Things
· Marvel Dare Devil
· Marvel The Punisher
· The Umbrella Academy
· Black Mirror
And the list goes on.
Although a streaming service. Hotstar app is the black sheep of the heard. It is the flagship application of the star network. One of the biggest media network in the world that covers various live events and produces its own local/international content. It streams live sporting events from all over the world and has a library full of all the programs ever produced by the star network. The main dividing factor between other streaming apps and hotstar is that it streams live events and channels for its viewers. Covering a wide variety of sports events. Similar yet different
Pros and Cons
Provides wonderful streaming and the content is quite awesome. We can find all the latest digital content on Netflix these days. All the popular shows, most viewed series you name it and they either buy or have it.
Not only this they have been very sensitive towards their content and that the reason a separated section is created for kids. So now you need not worry about your kid watching shows which he/ she is not supposed to watch. Another key advantage is that new account creators get 1-month free subscription and if you are unhappy with the service the subscription can be withdrawn easily.
There is no doubt that the content on Netflix is much more than Hoststar and Amazon Prime videos are its TV show, amine or movie you can find all the latest content here. One more feature of Netflix that add the feather to the hat is that it has both view for mobile or laptop this just makes your experience better.
As compared to all three Netflix subscription is quite expensive. You get a single screen in approx. ₹500 without HD and download, the double screen in ₹650 without HD quality and ₹800 with HD quality. Pus it also requires high-speed net connection so as to enjoy streaming service.
It is owned by the star network. It is known for good streaming and has good national and international content. They include all the programs including hotstar TV shows, movies, News updates and sports. Having exclusive streaming rights for HBO it was a win-win situation for Hotstart during the last season of GOT which was the most view show all over the world. The movie collection in Hotstar is endless. The subscription plans for hotstar are also cheap ₹199/month. Currently, they came up with a great deal of ₹696 for 1 year. As compared to others this is a great deal which most of us would love to grab or especially those who are great fans of movies.
There is no provision for laptop view. The no amines are more like zero whereas some of the adults still prefer watching amines and there is no doubt kids are huge fans. Navigation is also not that great. In my personal opinion, it appears more like overcrowded as everything is just put together.
|Basis of difference||Amazon Prime Video||Netflix||Hotstar|
|Content Library||Average size||Huge size||Huge Size|
|Live Content||No||No||Live sports matches and TV Channels|
|Content Variety||A lot of variety with shows from around the world||Loads of International shows but limited local shows||Loads of local shows & movies but limited international shows and movies.|
|Perks||User can enjoy Amazon Prime services on the shopping website as well.||As such no perks.||The subscribers get access to live TV on the app.|
|Shows Copyright||Most of the shows are acquired but is still entering the production business.||Most shows are self produced which makes distribution simpler.||Produces local shows and no such international shows.|
|Strategies||To have quality over quantity||Popularize self produced shows to attract audience.||Local shows and live TV.|
|Price||Mildly Expensive||Expensive||Mildly Expensive|
|Drawbacks||It has quality content but very limited.||Very difficult to run on slow internet connection.||Not much variety when it comes to international shows and movies.|
3. Amazon Prime Video
Prime subscription starts at ₹499 rupees which are considerably cheap. Amazon has tried to fit in the India market by all means and started composing some content and shows and much more.
They have been tiring to give it a personal touch you can get that idea from their tag line “Apni Dukan”. It contains the vast library of movies and there is more in the kid’s section to watch in comparison to other service providers.
Shows like Dexter’s Lab, Johnny Bravo, etc would bring back your childhood memories and indeed they are extending their collection. Their app is quite organized and PS4 supportive. It works well with all kinds of connection and doesn’t need high-speed internet.
Amazon prime video CONS
Collection of movies is still insufficient compared to others. Has onetime download.
Comparison according to content
Although the subscription charges depict that Netflix has topped the charts but in return, you get enormous and quality content in comparisons to other service providers.
Till date, Hotstar and Amazon prime have been unable to bring anything equal or close to series like House of cards, Black Mirror, etc.
Although it has been observed that Hotstar made a significant move by broadcasting GOT ant time was the time of the season when it got most of its viewers. In order to compete with these Prime broadcasted Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle, etc which were liked by the audience too.
Apart from these all the latest Hindi movies were broadcasted.
Netflix has the others beat when it comes to content. However, when it comes to variation. Amazon prime has the most market penetration. It has content from all over the world and especially much-diverse Japanese anime catalog. Sure Netflix has a lot of content, some acquired some self-produced but user often find themselves in this ocean of content just to find a pearl they wish to have.
The scenario is completely different when it comes to hotstar. Its users know exactly what they want. Mostly because they have a general idea of what the star network offers. When it comes to content, Hotstar lags behind the other two.
However, the live event coverage is an area where it leaves the others behind. Hotstar comes across a media platform for all sorts of entertainment. From movies to sports.
Comparing all three in play back then Netflix gives extremely good streaming and its single interface gives the ease to use to toggle between menus. If a video is passed somewhere and the app is closed then worry not it does remember where you last left and you can continue from the same point.
Now Amazon comes in the second position for streaming but it takes time to start up the video on slow internet connection but the video quality is HD. It also allows us to pause and start from the same point. It gives details about a specific frame.
Last in the performance is Hotstar app it might be great over the browser but its performance decreases over the mobile device. It doesn’t remember the point where the viewer left off and streaming is restricted to 720p. The premium content cannot be downloaded.
All three platform well when it comes to good internet. However, it has been reported that Netflix requires a strong internet connection. It is not the case with Amazon prime video or Hotstar. The applications manage a decent performance when it comes to slow internet.
The Recommendation system is best in Netflix which catalogs your choices and search. Relaying it in the form of relatable content. The content on Netflix is well categorized despite having such a large library.
Prime is relatively mediocre. Though it is well organized as well. Users sometimes might have to use the search option to find the content they are looking for. Unlike in the case of Netflix which automatically displays the probable choice on the homepage.
Whereas Hotstar provides a list of most popular shows on an average. The categories are very broad and based on the average viewing of other users.
Almost all the other features in the video player are similar. The quality control skips the intro and forward/ back movement.
This year Netflix brought a new and revolutionary concept to the player with,
Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch. It was a normal episode of the series in which the viewers could interactively choose what would happen next.
The choice of the viewer would decide what turn the story will take and how it will end. With the experience lasting for 3 to 4 hours for some viewers and 15 to 10 min for others.
It is something that has never happened before and was a rage amongst fans. The episode had 5 alternative endings based on the choice of the user.
Strategies to cover the market
To cover all variety of audiences all three services have come up with an excellent strategy of proving different stage memberships. It has been observed that there has been a great chase among all three for broadcasting a particular content.
The audience were waiting for next season of Lucifer, a movie like The Nun and last series of GOT and this chase ended with Netflix getting Lucifer, Prime getting The Nun for its audience and Hotstar broadcasting GOT for its audiences.
All three have made remarkable efforts to keep their audience engaged and entertained. As Hotstar ties up with HBO for content, Netflix ties with Red Chillies SRK’ s production house thus getting them a brand endorsement. To compete with this Amazon announces the broadcast of 17 shows from Indian creators and added Fire TV used for translation.
When it comes to local content. Hotstar has the other beat with most local content for the Indian audience. As the star network has been active in the market for some time now. It has tones of local content in various Indian languages.
However, even if Netflix does not have a local influence. It is gaining ground by producing highly rated shows, with a star-studded cast to attract the Indian audience.
Netflix is applying the concept of quality over quantity when it comes to market penetration in India and other countries. It has a universal library which boasts a large content bank in English language and a few quality shows in the local languages.
The languages it cannot produce in, Netflix finds quality content and buys it from the producers.
Amazon Prime is somewhere in the middle when it comes to content variation. It has a few local shows and a large library of content in various languages but compared to the other two on the list it is not that impressive.
Netflix targets a global audience with most shows in the English language. Not ignoring the local factor, it has a few good shows in the local language but not that diverse.
Amazon Prime is struggling when it comes to local content. Sure it has more than Netflix but lack in the global content which makes up for Netflix lack of local content.
Hotstar mainly focuses on retaining the audience the star network already has. It provides shows in many local languages, which is easy for them considering the network has a channel in each language.
It also tries to retain the sports-loving fans but often its content seems like a try to retain them while they wait for the next match.
All the three platforms are top in the business. Far superior to any other streaming platform. It is for this reason, these platforms are held up to such high standards. The quality in the content they provide somewhat justifies the pricing. Considering exclusive viewership to some of the most premium shows. Here is a breakdown of the verdict based on various factors.
If you are not a regular viewer and the price is the only concern. Hotstar has various plans for you. Hotstar membership plans are cheaper as compared to Netflix and amazon prime video. Giving limited access to certain content. Netflix offers a shared screen system which can be used by more than one person if the cost is split. Amazon lags behind in this context, with only seasonal deals.
Netflix by far has the most content. Followed by Hotstar which has a tone of local content. Whereas, amazon prime is somewhere in the middle. With a few good international and local shows. However, if you are a binge watcher then Netflix is the best option for you.
When it comes to offers, amazons branches outside the media industry gives it the biggest advantage. The Prime video account also gives you access to prime membership of the Amazon website. This membership helps you in getting premium quality services when it comes to shopping. With heavy discounts and free delivery.
Overall each streaming platform has its own unique selling point. Netflix boasts a huge content library and self-produced shows.
Amazon prime video has some quality content in local and international languages. Plus gives you access to the premium quality services of Amazon and its subsidiaries.
Hotstar has a decent media library.
It is best to stream live television and local shows. The live streams it provides are some of the most unique feature offered by any other media platform.
All three platforms cater to a different kind of audience. With an overlap in between. If we really have to decide which one is the best. It comes down to the needs and requirements of the viewer.
The taste and preference of the viewer is a huge factor in deciding which is the best platform. It the user is a regular viewer, then Netflix. If they can watch anything and need more out of their subscription, then Amazon prime video.
But if they want to catch up to the local culture and shows with a few sports then Hotstar is the best option.
There is a very little variation in price and features of the platforms. The major difference comes in the form of content they provide, which is ultimately what decides. Which platform is the best?