Ever since Netflix broke through, OTTs have become extremely common to the point that even broadcasters like NBC and Discovery have come out with their own online streaming platforms. OTT stands for Over The Top and refers to media that is streamed online without the use of cable or satellite. In this article, we explore what OTTs are, how they work, and what are some of the most popular OTT platforms in India and the USA.
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What is OTT?
As mentioned earlier, OTT stands for ‘Over The Top’ and refers to online media streaming platforms. OTTs cut off the middleman in cable operators and dish services, and directly provide you with the content through the Internet. The pricing may vary, depending upon the content being offered, geolocation, and the number of devices the service is being streamed on. You can stream content from an OTT on your TV, smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
The content offered on OTTs is also different from mainstream broadcasting, due to the lack of ads, and the ‘bingeability’ that the platform is able to provide. As a result, there is a change in both the format as well as the substance.
Popular OTT platforms in India and USA
While there is a huge overlap in streaming services available in India and USA, both countries also have exclusive platforms that provide content designed for the local audiences. Netflix is the most popular OTT, not just in India and the US, but also in the rest of the world. The content offered by Netflix depends upon the location you’re in. While ‘Netflix Originals’ are available in every country, the acquired content from other production houses may vary across countries.
India has one of the most cost-effective Netflix subscription plans, meaning the content you get for the price you pay is very economical in comparison to other countries. The cheapest Netflix plan in India costs Rs 199, and the number of titles hosted in the Netflix library is 5,917. This comes out at Rs 0.033 rupees (0.00041 USD) per title. By comparison, the price per title in the United States is 0.00133 USD.
If you’re in India and are looking for content in local languages you can check out Indian OTTs such as MX Player, Sony Liv, Voot, and Zee 5. Certain OTTs like Peacock and Paramount+ are exclusively operating in the US for now, with plans of breaking into the Indian market in future.
Here are some of the most popular OTTs in India and the world:
- Amazon Prime
- HBO Max (Hotstar in India)
- Apple TV
- MX Player
- Alt Balaji
Frequently asked questions
Can I access another country’s Netflix library using my Netflix account?
Yes, you can access another region’s Netflix library by using a VPN. Most free VPN services may not be cut out for this job, and you’ll have to pay for a premium VPN service that specialises in unlocking OTT content from different regions.
How can I access secret titles on Netflix?
There are mountains of content on Netflix and not every title makes its way to your home feed or category list. You can use secret codes to unlock hidden categories on Netflix, where you can find a diverse range of titles that you wouldn’t ordinarily come across on your Netflix homepage. You can read more about it here.
Are there ads on Netflix?
No, at present Netflix does not run any ads. Since it is a subscription service, an adless experience is one of the things you’re paying for. However, this may change in the future as Netflix has discussed hosting ads on its platform.
Which is the cheapest OTT platform in India?
At present, you can watch all content on MX Player for free, though you will have to endure ads. If you want an adless experience, you can pay an annual fee of Rs 499. ZEE 5 is also one of the cheapest OTT platforms in India with an annual subscription fee of Rs 699.