Mobile Internet

Hotstar VIP to win Indian hearts, Netflix and Amazon Prime have their tasks cut out

Hotstar logo from the app

Hotstar was recently funded into by its parent companies and it was a serious investment. Star India and Star US Holdings combined and invested around INR 1,066 Cr that is around $153 million in Hotstar. This investment was solely towards developing unique content and rising above the competitors. The Indian OTT scene is growing every minute. People are already shifting from traditional television to the more modernized version of TV.

That said, Netflix and Amazon Prime are the ones dominating the scene at the moment. Amazon Prime recently grabbed the most views according to a survey with 72% preferring Prime over anything else and Netflix came in distant second while Hotstar was looming behind the Giants in third. However, Hotstar is the most downloaded application when it comes to OTT platforms. The app has been downloaded by more than 350 million people and has around 150 million monthly users.

Hotstar is a bit different from that of Netflix and Amazon Prime. There is a reason for that, and that is sports. Hotstar live streams Cricket, Football, Hockey and Kabaddi matches. This is Hotstar’s major USP. The company has always been a sports app as it started out as one in 2015 as it covered the cricket world cup in the same year.

That being said, the company has grown over the years. Growing had a lot to do with competitors coming and grabbing a lot of market in the country. There was creative content all around and Hotstar needed to create originals and it did. The company has come out with Hotstar Specials and a special subscription plan for the same.

Hotstar VIP is the new subscription plan and you can avail it for only INR 365 for an entire year. Hotstar VIP subscribers will be able to watch all the sports along with its specials and the premium shows from Hollywood with the upcoming VIVO IPL and the cricket world cup as well. The subscribers get all the benefits. The price is set at a very aggressive point and if the shows are great, people will pounce on it. This is because Netflix asks for INR 500-800 for a month while Amazon Prime is available at INR 129 per month and INR 999 for a year.

Hotstar’s price is way low and it offers all its premium and sports packages along with it. This deal might just win hearts as Hotstar VIP also has a feature called Pay with Cash. This feature will allow the users to pay via cash within 48 to 72 hours of use of the service. This is, however, a trail and will be tested in a few cities. The other major update is that the company now has a login in mobile option. This option allows users to log in with their phones which allows for a smoother ride along the app.

All in all, Hotstar is looking to hit the ball out of the park with this new engagement strategy. Only time will tell if it’s a success or not.

-Unmesh Phule


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