Hotstar is India’s largest premium streaming service and is owned by the Indian conglomerate Star India. The service has more than 200 million users and offers free access to 80% of its catalogue. The platform monetizes its free users through ads and offers more than 50 TV shows and movies. The service is one of the few that allows non-paying users to view cricket matches live. The only downside to Hotstar is that it doesn’t have a mobile app.
The company acquired the Star India network in April 2018 and rolled out the eponymous service in the country on Friday. The service costs 1,499 Indian rupees (roughly $19.5) per year, which is comparable to the price paid by subscribers in other markets. The service also offers a 30-day free trial. Currently, the service offers over 200 films and TV series. Customers can sign up for a one-month free trial or subscribe to a year-long subscription.
Hotstar is expanding rapidly in India, offering a wide variety of genres and programming to its users. For example, 26% of Game of Thrones viewers also watched Hindi television shows and 24% watched Modern Family. The service also supports 4K Ultra HD in HDR10 and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. In August 2020, Hotstar will begin offering content in 4K Ultra HD in Dolby Vision and HDR10 (aspect ratio of 8x). Despite the competition from global players, Hotstar is still the best option for watching premium content.