Among the numerous Video On Demand services that are currently available in the market, many were able to impress the viewers while many failed to do so. After Netflix, a wave of VODs was seen which opened the gates of opportunities to a lot of media entertainment companies like Zee, Star, and Balaji Telefilms to spread their content to a wider audience. Star India took their chances with Hotstar, and it was a hit.
You might have heard about Hotstar. You might have not heard about it. Regardless, in this blog, you will read everything about Hotstar: what is it, what does it offer, how much the premium membership cost and other similar queries. Happy Reading!
What Is Hotstar?
Hotstar is an Indian digital streaming platform launched in 2015 by Star India. It is available in India, the United States & Canada and provides quality and high-definition video-on-demand services across various devices. The content offered includes over 50,000 hours of entertainment. Titles span across 9 languages – Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati. Always up to date and consistent with the latest releases, Hotstar is famous for its quality collection of American TV Shows and Hollywood movies, Indian TV and a plethora of Bollywood films to choose from. Hotstar also provides online Sports Live Streaming for all major sports.
What Will I Get As A Free Hotstar User?
Even without any sign up on Hotstar, you can enjoy most of the content for free. This includes the various Hindi Live TV channels, Bollywood movies and Hotstar Originals.
Live TV Channels
You can stream all the latest episodes from the shows of the following TV channels which are updated regularly with the latest episodes. The list includes Star Plus, Star Bharat, Star Sports, HBO, Star World, Nat Geo, Fox Life, Star Maa, Star Jalsha, Star Pravah, Star Utsav, Star Vijay, Star Suvarna, Asianet.
A few select Bollywood, Hollywood & regional movies are available for users with a free account or no account at all on Hotstar. The freely available movies cut through the range of various genres languages including Hindi, English, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati. You can enjoy movies like The Mechanic, Badhai Ho and Bagh Bandi Khela without even paying a single penny.
Hotstar Originals are the TV shows that are produced by Hotstar itself. Hotstar allows its free users to enjoy the Hotstar originals like On Air with AIB, M Bole Toh, One Tip One Hand.
What Will I Get With Hotstar Premium Membership?
A Hotstar premium membership will give you access to the free content as well as the premium titles on Hotstar which includes exclusive TV shows, movies and various live sports like cricket, F1 and Tennis.
Access to American TV shows
With a Hotstar Premium Membership, you can enjoy some of the most popular American TV shows which are updated with latest episodes regularly minutes after they get aired in America. TV shows like Game Of Thrones, Gotham, Modern Family, Dexter and Band of Brothers are available to watch with a Hotstar Premium membership.
Access to Hollywood Movies
If you’re a big-time filmophile then a Hotstar Premium membership has a lot of highly appreciated movies for you. Along with the latest Bollywood movies, you can also enjoy Hollywood movies like The Imitation Game, Black Swan, Star Wars, and Thor are available to stream with a Hotstar Premium membership.
Access to Live Sports
For all the sports enthusiasts out there, with a Hotstar Premium membership, you can enjoy over 12 different sports events live on your laptop, smartphone or TV. You can watch Cricket, Indian Premier League, F1, boxing, Wimbledon, French Open, Badminton Championships and many more with a Hotstar Premium membership.
Access to Uncut and Ad-free Content
All the Hollywood movies and American TV shows that you’ll be watching with a Hotstar Premium membership will be an uncut version without any commercials in between. A complete seamless experience will be given to Hotstar Premium member.
Are There Any Offers On Hotstar Premium Membership?
Airtel and Jio mobile users can stream live sports, prime-time episodes of TV shows and some Indian movies for free. Premium English content & Sports Channels is still paid for both Airtel & Jio Subscribers. Users will have to buy a Premium plan or Sports plan to avail these.
Flipkart Plus members can buy Hotstar Premium subscription for 12 months for just 50 coins. Go to the Flipkart Plus offer section and generate a Hotstar coupon code and claim it in Hotstar App. This limited offer can be claimed 2 times per member account.
Many banks host promotional cashback offers which can be searched on the internet. For eg., There was an offer in April 2018 where payments through CITI Bank Credit Cards get 100% cashback for 6 months Premium Membership
How Much Would Hotstar Premium Cost?
Although Hotstar has free content, most of its titles, especially English sitcoms and movies as well as latest Bollywood releases are available on a Premium membership.
Hotstar Premium Plan
The Premium membership is priced at INR 999 per year and INR 199 per month.
Only the INR 199 monthly plan comes with a 7-day trial. When choosing this plan, the user is charged immediately and if the plan is cancelled within 7 days, a full refund is issued. After that, if the user pays and cancels again in 7 days, the money is not refunded.
The plan lets users stream all premium titles, as well as Live Sports streaming. In addition to all of this, Premium members get early access to prime time TV shows at 6 pm daily. This is before they even air on television!
Hotstar All Sports Plan
The All Sports package comes at Rs. 299 yearly. The plan was introduced with the Vivo IPL 2018 and includes live streaming to all major sports including Cricket, Football, Tennis, Hockey, F1, etc. Payment options on Hotstar
The payment for the monthly plan (INR 199 per month) can be done only through Credit cards of MasterCard and VISA.
The payment for the yearly plans (INR 299 & INR 999 per year) can be done through Credit or Debit cards of MasterCard and VISA, Netbanking, Paytm and UPI.
iOS users can now purchase the Hotstar plans by paying through iTunes as well.
How to Buy a Hotstar Subscription?
Hotstar plans are recurring and therefore auto-renewed monthly or yearly, as per the plan. In order to avail the membership, follow these steps:
- Go to the Hotstar Website or App and choose a plan.
- Sign up with a valid e-mail id and password, or with a Facebook account.
- Enter payment details and confirm the payment.
Who Are The Competitors of Hotstar?
Netflix has costlier packages, however, the service is world-renowned for its interactive UI design, original series’ and the ever-increasing collection of International titles. It is consistent with releasing the latest Indian films as well.
Amazon Prime Video
A subscription to PrimeVideo not only provides access to diverse streaming content but also with it comes free a Prime Delivery membership of the online store. The collection of Bollywood, Hollywood and Foreign content on Prime is impressive and also includes a plethora of popular Original series’.
ALT Balaji is getting really popular among the Indians because of its youth-oriented content. It offers a huge library of movies, TV shows, and ALT Balaji originals like Apharan, Gandii Baat, Dev DD, and XXX uncensored.
For a clear understanding of how Hotstar stands in front of its competitors, take a look at the following table.
|Susbcription Plan Details||Hotstar Subscription||Netflix Subscription||PrimeVideo Subscription||AltBalaji Subscription||SonyLIV Subscription||Hungama Play Subscription|
|Free Trial or
|7 days||1 month||No||First 3 episodes of every TV Series||Selected Content is Free||You can view a 10-minute preview of every movie and TV series|
|Monthly Plan||INR 199||INR 500 (1 User)
INR 600 (2 Users)
INR 800 (4 Users)
|INR 129||–||INR 99||INR 99|
|3-Month Plan||–||–||–||INR 100||INR 149||INR 249|
|Yearly Plan||INR 999
INR 299 (All Sports Plan)
|–||INR 999||INR 300||INR 499||INR 799|
|Simultaneous Streaming||1 User||1 to 4 Users||Unlimited||5 Devices||1 User||1 Device|
|Premium Features||Unlimited Access, Live TV & Sports||Unlimited Access, HD & UHD Streaming||Unlimited Access to PrimeVideo, PrimeMusic & Kindle e-Books,
|Unlimited Access, Offline download||Live TV, Ad-free viewing
|Unlimited Access, Ad-Free Viewing, Offline Download, Originals|
|Offers||Some content on Airtel TV & JioCinema; 1 year free on Flipkart First for 50 coins||Free subscription for selected Airtel & Vodafone Users||Free for selected users of BSNL, Airtel & Vodafone||Free for Selected users of Airtel, Jio & Vodafone||30% cashback through PayTM, 3-month free subscription fro Sony Bravia TV & Mi TV buyers||3-month free subscription for Mi TV users & Cloud TV X2 users. 60% off for ACT Fibrenet users.|
|Service & Content Type||On Demand Streaming, Movies, TV Shows, Live TV, Sports & News , Regional Content||On Demand Streaming, Movies, TV Shows, Kids, Originals||On Demand Streaming, Movies, TV Shows, Kids, Originals||Original TV Series, Movies & TV Shows||On Demand Streaming, Movies, TV Shows, Originals, Live TV & Sports||On-Demand Streaming, Movies, TV Shows, Originals|
|Data Usage per Hour||1.3 GB(HD)||750 MB (HD)||925 MB (SD), 2.2 GB (HD), 6 GB (4K/UHD)||750 MB (SD)||1.9 GB (HD)||1.5 GB (HD)|
What Content Is Available on Hotstar?
Hotstar has a variety of content that leaves the user spoilt for choice, especially in the Premium category.
The platform lets users stream episodes of Hindi and regional language shows (with early access) such as Yeh Hain Mohabbatein, Dance+, Kausauti Zindagi Kay, Nach Baliye, Saavdhaan India, Devon Ke Dev Mahadev, etc. Along with all Star channel TV shows, Hotstar in its English TV content provides access to original shows by HBO, Showtime, ABC Studios, FOXlife, Asianet and National Geographic. This vast collection includes popular American and award-winning titles such as Game of Thrones, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Homeland, The Wire, Big Little Lies, Silicon Valley, Twin Peaks etc. Hotstar has partnered content with HOOQ.
The movie section comprises of 8 major language movies. Popular Bollywood content includes Two States, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Talvaar, Pink, Highway, Phillauri, etc. Hollywood movies such as Maze Runner, The Greatest Showman, Star Wars series, The Shape of Water, Coco, Thor, the X-Men series are also available under Premium membership.
Sports videos include live-streaming as well as highlights of popular sports such as cricket, kabaddi, football, badminton, F1, etc.
- Cricket: Vivo IPL, Asia Cup, India vs WI, NZ vs India, and more
- Football: Premier League, Bundesliga, ISL and more
- Kabaddi: Pro Kabaddi, Kabaddi Nationals
- Tennis: Wimbledon, French Open, US Open among others
- Others: Formula 1, Badminton World Championships among others
Besides all of this, Hotstar provides live news, headlines of the day and categorised news from TV channels such as Republic TV, Aaj Tak, ABP News, News Nation, Fox, India Today, etc.
What Are The Features of Hotstar?
Hotstar allows only single-video streaming from one account. Videos streamed are optimised to best quality; appropriate to the network or bandwidth available to the user. Browsing for titles is easy and an interactive UI ensures the Hotstar experience is high-quality. Premium subscription is ad-free.
Which Devices Are Supported by Hotstar?
Hotstar currently supports the following devices and system requirements:
- Desktop: Microsoft Windows 7 or above, MAC OS 10.2 or above
Web browsers: Google Chrome version 49.x, Mozilla Firefox version 44.x, Safari version 9.1.x
- App: For Android devices with version 4.0 and above
iOS devices with version 9 and above
- It is Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick friendly
- Also available on Android TV and Apple TV
Hotstar Premium – Is It Worth The Bucks?
- Youngsters and fans of award-winning American shows, especially HBO originals and ABC Studios’ titles
- Middle-aged women who watch Indian TV serials and want a platform to catch up on episodes online
- Sports fanatics
- Fans of Bollywood and other major Regional Language Films
- Those who want to be able to stream live news and current affairs
How to Cancel Hotstar Subscription
In order to cancel a Hotstar membership, go to the ‘My Account’ page on the website, and click on ‘cancel Membership’. Membership will continue for the current billing cycle and will be cancelled from the next billing period. To cancel the subscription in iTunes, users will have to go and remove the subscription from iTunes panel.