SonyLIV was launched in January 2013 and is owned by Sony Pictures Networks India. It is the complete digital entertainment platform with content for audiences across genres. Its vast library contains Bollywood and Hollywood movies, TV shows, live TV channels, exciting live sporting events, and even videos from celebrity fitness enthusiasts and nutritionists. SonyLIV also championed the concept of exclusive, original content in India with LoveBytes, India’s first-ever original show meant exclusively for the digital audiences. It took the proposition up a level with Y.O.L.O, the first-ever regional language web series on an OTT platform in the country, and currently has several original web shows as a part of its content catalogue. Most of the content on the platform is made available free of cost for SonyLIV users, while live TV channels and movies are offered at a premium subscription starting from Rs 49 per month.
Voot, launched in March 2016, is the digital arm of Viacom 18, Network 18 Media. An advertising-led VOD platform available as a website as well as a mobile app for both Android and iOS platforms, Voot has more than 28,000 hours of video content in English, Hindi, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, and Bengali. Voot offers features such as a user-friendly search option, a social media engagement feature to recommend content to other people via customized “Shouts”, a “shake” feature, and a security pin for parents with young children to ensure that they don’t watch anything but toons and kids’ content. The platform’s content library includes popular shows from youth-oriented channels such as MTV and Colors. From tussles between Bigg Boss participants and daring challenges on MTV Roadies to rib-tickling humor on Comedy Nights Live and pranks on MTV Bakra, Voot delivers the millennial viewers with the content that they want to watch. It has also forayed into the original content space with shows like Chinese Bhasad, Soadies, Sinskaari, Shaadi Boys, and It’s Not That Simple.
A digital and mobile entertainment platform owned by Star India, Hotstar was initially launched to give the on-the-go millennial audiences a chance to live stream the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 anytime, anywhere. The platform has since then expanded its library with more than 35,000 hours of content across genres such as entertainment, movie, and sports. Hotstar also hosts Game of Thrones, one of the most watched TV series of recent times, and has edgy original content such as On Air With AIB featuring popular comedy group AIB to meet the differentiated tastes of the new-age Indian viewers. Hotstar is available as an application across mobile devices which are on Android, iOS and Apple TV platforms.
Netflix is a global leader in the OTT entertainment space founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph on August 29 1997. It specializes in and provides streaming media and video-on-demand online and DVD by mail. Netflix’s video on demand streaming service, formerly branded as Watch Now, allows subscribers to stream television series and films via the Netflix website on personal computers, or the Netflix software on a variety of supported platforms, including smartphones and tablets, digital media players, video game consoles, and smart TVs. The platform makes it extremely convenient to access popular TV shows such as House of Cards and Daredevil. Earlier accessed through unauthorized avenues, the easy availability of these shows in India on a trusted platform has been pivotal in gaining traction with urban millennials. What also works in favour of the platform is its large library of exclusive content; it is estimated that Netflix released nearly 126 original series or movies in 2016 alone.
Amazon Prime is an internet video-on-demand service developed, owned and operated by Amazon.com. Amazon Prime is a subscription-led service which allows users to watch exclusive and popular content from around the world in high definition. With critically-acclaimed shows such as The Man in the High Castle, Mad Dogs, Alpha House, Betas, One Mississippi, American Gods, Outlander, Lucifer, and Black Sails a part of its library, Amazon Prime has been augmenting the entertainment options available to the millennial viewers. The value-added services that Prime subscription enables on its parent website, Amazon.com, further increase its appeal for young Indian viewers.