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Hotstar

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5/5 User rating

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We are far from a shortage when it comes to platforms on which we can stream great content. There are so many different premium streaming apps to choose from, sometimes it can feel dizzying to try and decide on just one. Not that you need to pick just one, of course, but we can’t all afford to have seven plus premium streaming subscriptions at one time! Ideally, the best premium streaming app will make it so that you do not require any others, at least when it comes to finding content in a specific niche.

That is probably the first step to finding the best streaming app for you. First, before everything else, you have to figure out what kind of content you are looking to stream. For the most part, streaming apps tend to cater to different kinds of content, generally speaking. So, Netflix, for instance, has a lot of original comedy specials (more, I would say, than any other streaming platform out there), but they also have some great series and dramatic films, too.

Hulu, on the other hand, is perfect for anyone who loves American television. They have tons of series available, oftentimes they will even air new episodes 24 hours after they air. So, if you are the kind of person who loves keeping up to date with your favorite American TV shows, Hulu might be the premium streaming app you need.

Amazon Prime Video is the other premium streaming service in the top 3. This one, of course, has just about everything you could want (if you are willing to pay to rent or buy titles that are not included with Prime Video, that is). However, when it comes to the original content that Amazon Prime Video has to offer, they tend to specialize in critically acclaimed dramatic series, often period pieces, such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Man in the High Castle.

Once you become acquainted with the kinds of content that each streaming service has to offer, picking the right premium streaming app for you should start to look a little easier. Content, though, believe it or not, is not the only factor to take into account when choosing a new premium streaming app. Just as important to some is the way the app is designed, the user experience that the app has to offer.

What good is a ton of great content if the app itself does not work consistently? Or if the app is so sloppily put together that you can’t even figure out how to access said content in the first place? Design is an oft-overlooked aspect of apps … I think we sometimes take solid app design for granted. But if you could see some of the awful streaming apps out there that I have seen, trust me, you would never take great app design for granted again … it really can make or break a premium streaming app.

But what if you have had your fill of American streaming media? What if you are looking for an app that specifically caters to Indian film and television? If that is the case, if you are looking for a comprehensive resource to stream Indian media, you have certainly come to the right place. Hot Star, powered by Disney Plus, might be the one and only Indian premium streaming app you will ever need … it has a little bit of everything, plus some really unique features and a blend of on-demand and live TV streaming that should be the envy of every other premium streaming app on the market.

History

Hot Star is the streaming service affiliated with the Star India network. Star India first launched officially in February of 2015, upon a 15-month development period. The launch of Star India coincided perfectly with the launch of the Indian Premier League professional cricket league. At first, the service was ad-supported and offered a library of more than 35,000 hours of media, available in seven regional languages. This was paired with access to live streaming of sports, such as cricket, football, and kabaddi.

Star India CEO Sanjay Gupta said that he felt there were not “many platforms available to Indian consumers offering high-quality, curated content besides, say, YouTube.” He went on to explain how the service would appeal to India’s growing young adult demographic, and that it was to feature “very targeted” advertising.

In April of 2016, Hot Star finally released its subscription service, which was originally oriented mostly toward international shows and movies, as well as the possibility of premium sports coverage. The service was launched in accordance with a deal with HBO, allowing Hot Star to carry uncut HBO content, which coincided with the premiere of Game of Thrones’ 6th season.

Mobile broadband in India skyrocketed with the release of LTE-only wireless carrier Jio, a company which has been credited with a massive level of growth and expansion in streaming video in India. While the most popular international brands such as Netflix and Prime Video have seen similar growth in the Indian Market, by the time July of 2017 rolled around, Hot Star’s apps reached 300 million downloads, making it the top video streaming app in all of India.

Design

Hot Star is a great example of an app well done. This is how premium streaming apps should look. It is clean, sleek, and easy to navigate. In fact, it honestly looks like a better executed, cleaner version of iTunes at times, with less clutter and easier ways of navigating all of its content. The most glaring similarity comes from the user menu located at the bottom of the app, allowing you to browse content by tapping on Home, TV Shows, Movies, Sports, or News. There it is, all in one slender and convenient menu, everything that you need to be able to browse on the Hot Star app.

I love how streamlined this app is. It is definitely one of the most user-friendly premium streaming apps on the market. It would appear as if other Hot Star users tend to agree with my assessment of how this app works, too, seeing as it has an average user rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) on the Apple App Store, from over 67,000 unique ratings.

Content

This is where Hot Stars really starts to stand out, in my opinion. The variety of types of content, as well as types of streaming is incredible. You have, first of all, tons of movies and TV shows to choose from, with on-demand content available from the top Star India channels and blockbuster movies.

But Hot Star is unique in the ways that it blends on-demand TV and film content with live TV streaming. It is also one of the only premium streaming apps to combine TV and popular movies with sports. Enjoy live cricket matches, courtesy of the IPL, with your Hot Star subscription.

You can also access live Indian news coverage, too, with Hot Star. When it comes to Indian media, there really is no other premium streaming app you will ever need after you give this one a download.

Pricing and Plans

If all of this weren’t reason enough for you to go and download Hot Star immediately, maybe the sensationally low price will. Whereas most premium streaming services will cost you between $10 and $12 a month, Hot Star offers a truly endless live and on-demand streaming experience for only $49.99 a year. This amounts to a little more than $4 a month, making Hot Star one of the most affordable premium streaming apps on the market. Truly the best bang for you buck when it comes to streaming Indian movies, TV shows, news, and sporting events all in one convenient location!

Suggestions that I have for Hot Star

Honestly, I do not have any suggestions for Hot Star. It has chosen its lane (Indian media) and has provided a great service within it. The best premium streaming apps tend to do this … choose a market and then become the best streaming app within it. That’s precise what Hot Star has done. It is affordable, expertly designed, easy to use, and offers a ton of different content. You really cannot go wrong with this one, folks.

Likes & Hates:
Tons of shows, movies, on-demand content
Live cricket
Live news streaming
Great design
Honestly, nothing!