App Annie’s State of Mobile report 2019 said that India saw over 140% growth in time spent in the top 5 video streaming apps in 2018 from 2016. The top five video streaming apps include Youtube, Hotstar, Jio TV, Amazon Prime and Voot while video streaming apps that grossed the most were Netflix, Hotstar, Bigo Live, Live.me and AltBalaji.
The market is brimming with streaming content and the wat between Indian player Hotstar and global players Amazon Prime and Netflix is about to heat up this year even more. All three have been betting increasingly big on original Indian content, emphasising on localised content to garner more eyeballs. The latest performance indicators show that the customers have landed up mostly in Hotstar’s court, which could be explained by the fact that it’s been around in the market longer.
A Wall Street Journal report citing data from IHS Markit said that Hotstar has 10% of its 300 Mn user base as paying customers in India i.e. 3 Mn. At the same time, Jeff Bezos-led Amazon’s Prime has 2.5 Mn Indian subscribers and Netflix comes third with 1.2 Mn Indian subscribers.
India’s Streaming Wars: Hotstar vs Amazon Prime vs Netflix
- Hotstar: Disney-owned Hotstar with access to Star India content has been offering almost 80% of its content for free. This free content includes content from more than 10 Indian television channels. Further, the paid 20% content comes at INR 199 ($2.28) a month. The streaming service also has live sports, which is a competitive advantage since neither Amazon Prime nor Netflix offers this content.
- Amazon Prime: As a bundle of offerings, Amazon Prime costs $1.86 per month. The Prime Video service is bundled with Amazon Prime in India, which includes music streaming, priority delivery and more.
- Netflix: The global premium content provider Netflix costs INR 500-INR 800 ($7-$11) per month. One of its most appealing aspects is access to global top performing series, movies and talk shows. It also recently introduced an INR 250 per week plan for Indian mobile users.
However, a common trend big in the streaming market in India is the new focus on bringing native Indian content to its users. Over the past year, all three platforms have ramped up production of Indian language content for the local audiences.
While Hotstar itself has most of the Indian regional language content, it’s focussing on live sports, global mega titles such as Game of Thrones as well as a slew of Indian remakes of international shows to attract users. At the same time, Amazon Prime and Netflix bring the best of both worlds with their increasing collaborating with Indian content creators to make India-focussed content. This comes as an addition to the top international series or movies that both already offer. Amazon released original series such as Mirzapur and Four More Shots Please in India, while Netflix made big investments for the likes of Sacred Games, Lust Stories, and Delhi Crime.
According to the latest report by market research company Velocity MR, more than 70% of respondents claimed to watch Amazon Prime regularly at least once a week, followed by Netflix with 56% and Hotstar with 50%.