Being the fastest growing market for smartphones in the world, India has witnessed a massive increase in the content consumption on handheld devices.
Among the contenders, Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are claiming the top spot ; meanwhile Voot, Ditto TV, Eros Now and Jio TV / Jio Movies are settling down on the secondary slot.
The best thing is that, pattern of the content consumption has improved drastically with the entry of Jio into the market and other telcos offering lower 4G internet tariffs.
Amazon Prime Video is the latest entrant on the list, and the war is getting heated up. We have done an on-grounds comparison, so you could pick up the best streaming service according to your needs.
1. App Interface
A good interface can provide better real-time experience making the navigation smooth and simple.
Netflix – Netflix has instant results on what type, which is really helpful and at the same time saves time. The app is well built, has the most of the intuitive and user friendly features.
Amazon Prime Video – On Prime, you have to type out the entire thing, and then search, which is a bit clingy. Prime offers seamless experience, but there are some issues with the episode last played.
Hotstar – Hotstar has options for real time search results, but needs more integration. Though the app is well built, but still it’s buggy and keeps crashing.
Round ‘A’ Winner?
2. Playback Experience
The major feature, playback. The playback has to be perfect for a video streaming service.
Netflix – With options to choose the streaming video quality and availability of total episode list, the overall playback experience on Netflix is smooth.
Amazon Prime Video – Prime offers the most of the customizable options, from changing the subtitle size to streaming quality to estimate of how much data the video will take on an hourly basis. All these make the playback a relief with no nonsense fuss.
Hotstar – Hotstar also offers streaming quality options and estimate of how much data the video will take on an hourly basis and has options for subtitles. Through playback is good, overall experience is average.
Round ‘B’ Winner?
– Amazon Prime Video
The most important thing, content. All the three has wide number of TV shows and movies available on their platforms. But who has the best?
Netflix – Netflix has loads of in-house widely acclaimed TV shows which you can’t find anywhere else. They are loaded with House of Cards, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Narcos and many more. Even they offer huge catalog of Netflix Originals in the country. They have movies too, but Bollywood is limited, though everything on Netflix is uncensored.
Amazon Prime Video – Amazon Prime offers a list of good content too, ranging from TV shows like Transparent, The Grand Tour, Fear the Walking Dead and many more. Bollywood movies are limited and movies in regional languages are available too. Especially for India, Amazon have added some exclusive content on stand-up comedy. The content on Prime is censored.
Hotstar – Hotstar with it’s Premium service, offers some exclusive western content like Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, American Crime Story and more. Hotstar recently launched Hotstar Originals and soon will fill up with some good content. Coming to Bollywood and Regional movies with Indian TV shows and soaps, Hotstar offers the widest variety in terms of content. Even hotstar offers live streaming of Cricket games and other sports, which makes Hotstar a hot favourite among the three.
Round ‘C’ Winner?
– Netflix (International and Original Content)
– Hotstar (Indian Content and Live Cricket Streaming)
4. Video Quality and Downloads
The quality of video you get with your internet bandwidth and what content you can download.
Netflix – Netflix can play high quality videos at lower internet speeds which is a huge plus for the Indian viewers. On-app downloads are available.
Amazon Prime Video – Even if you choose to stream the video at the ‘Best Quality’ at a normal bandwidth, the video can run at 480p maximum. On-app downloads are available.
Hotstar – Hotstar faces the same video quality issue on it’s platform. On-app downloads are available, but only for Indian Content.
Round ‘D’ Winner?
Pricing plays a major factor as we always try to find out the best value-for-money service.
Netflix – Netflix has plans starting at Rs. 500 (Basic), and has other rates for Standard and Premium subscriptions.
Amazon Prime Video – Amazon is offering a one-year subscription for just Rs. 499 as a part of their introductory offer. But there will be paid-content, which later you need to rent or buy.
Hotstar – Hotstar offers a huge number of free shows and movies, though the premium subscription for exclusive content will cost you Rs. 199 per month.
Round ‘E’ Winner?
– Netflix, if you bet in for some intuitive and interesting content. Though, if budget is a major concern, Amazon Prime is good (even you get the extra benefits when you shop on Amazon India). Hotstar too is cheap and has some interesting content on board.
Considering variety of content, price, streaming quality and overall experience, Netflix is a clear winner. But if you are someone, who is mostly into Indian content and Cricket with some above average Western shows, Hotstar is apt for you. In case, you have a shoe-string budget, and at the same time want to experience some good content online, Amazon Prime Video won’t be a bad choice.
"Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hotstar - Who Is the Best? We Find Out!",