Time to Netflix and chill? It turns out, you may not have to pay even a single rupee for subscriptions to video streaming services if you play your cards right. Actually, play your postpaid mobile bill plan or prepaid mobile recharge properly, and you could save a lot of money in the process. And yet not compromise even one bit on the entertainment portfolio. That is because Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone are bundling subscriptions for video streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5 and more with the postpaid bill plans as well as prepaid recharge packs. You might want to pay attention to this and reconfigure your prepaid or postpaid plan to get the best value.
Here is how much you will save, if you get the bundled subscriptions for video streaming platforms with your mobile prepaid and postpaid plans. The Hotstar VIP subscription costs Rs 365 per year while the Hotstar Premium subscription costs Rs 299 per month or Rs 999 per year. Amazon charges Rs 129 per month or Rs 999 per year for the Prime subscription that also includes Amazon Video. Netflix subscription options start at Rs 499 per month for the basic HD subscription going all the way up to Rs 799 per month for the 4K HDR plan—though you have a mobile only plan for Rs 199 per month but that’s just too limiting anyway. Sony Liv charges Rs 499 per year for the premium pack, while Zee5 will cost Rs 999 per year for the All Access Pack. Now that would be a lot of money saved, wouldn’t it?
This is what you mobile plan can get you
Let us give you a snapshot of what is available with each mobile connection, be it prepaid or postpaid. If you have a Reliance Jio subscription, with any prepaid and postpaid plan for the Jio mobile service, you get bundled subscription for a complete range of apps that include Jio TV and Jio Cinema. That is a lot of content to consume, including Live TV which no rival does as well, though Airtel comes close. Speaking of which, Airtel is bundling the Amazon Prime subscription for a year which includes the Prime Video streaming platform, Zee5 and the Airtel Xstream premium video streaming app as part of the Airtel Thanks rewards for postpaid users. Interestingly enough, the Airtel Prime subscription option is available only on the Rs 249 prepaid recharge pack. Vodafone offers subscription to Amazon Prime as well as Vodafone Play and Zee5 platforms with all postpaid plans above Rs 499. The Vodafone REDX premium postpaid plan which costs Rs 999 per month gets the additional benefit of Netflix bundle as well along with a lot of other benefits. All Vodafone prepaid plans bundle Vodafone Play and Zee5 subscriptions.
Reliance Jio: Jio TV and Jio Cinema offer a world of entertainment
Let us start with Reliance Jio first. The Jio TV app is available for Android and iOS platforms, and is perhaps your best choice if you want to watch Live TV without actually needing a DTH or cable TV subscription—there are more than 500 Live channels on board, which includes more than 60 HD channels. As we said before, no other Live TV app in India comes close to the sort of variety and extensive channel options that Jio TV offers. Be it English or Hindi entertainment, news, Live sports, infotainment, music and more, all possible channels covering almost all Indian languages are available—Colors, Star Plus, Sony, Zee TV, &TV, Star Gold, Sony Max, Zee Cinema, Star Movies, HBO HD, Star Sports channels in HD, Sony sports channels in HD, Discovery HD World as well as some value-adds such as the Jio Sports channels. Watching Live sports, including cricket matches, just becomes incredibly more convenient than having to jump from app to app. And that is before we get to the Jio Cinema app—this has an extensive library of Movies and TV shows, including the exclusive Disney content that includes Star Wars, Iron Man and Avengers franchises. Jio Cinema is available for Android, iOS, Android TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick platforms.
India likes the convenience
A recent Ovum-Amdocs report on the state of OTT services in India suggested that 47% subscribers less likely to switch service providers if they get their preferred OTT streaming services. At the same time, 30% of respondents would not mind switching to another operator if their current operator doesn’t offer their preferred streaming subscriptions. In India, the biggest video streaming services include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Sony Liv, Voot, Zee 5 and Eros Now. The report also suggests that as many as 50% of users are willing to pay for premium media services via their carrier bill if offered at a discount or with an extended free trial. The report did throw up a rather interesting set of statistics. It turns out that Sony Liv gets 50% of its total subscriptions from bundles with mobile, broadband or TV bills. That is the most for any streaming service in India, with Voot in second with 38% while Zee5 follows at 34%. Amazon Prime, which includes the Amazon Prime Video streaming service, gets 25% of its total subscriptions from media bundles—though it is quite commonly found in tariff plans offered by Airtel and Vodafone Idea. For some reason, the survey calculates Amazon Prime’s conversion separately at 15%, but it would be prudent to add the 25% and 15% together under one umbrella. Netflix gets just 19% of its subscribers from media bundles.
Airtel: Are you on prepaid or postpaid?
If you are an Airtel subscriber, postpaid plans have the better bundles—these plans are priced upwards of Rs 499. You get a one-year subscription for Prime Video streaming platform as well as access to premium content on Zee5 and the Airtel Xstream premium video streaming app. In fact, the Airtel Xstream app has more than 10,000 movies on board, TV shows as well as content from a variety of platforms under one roof—these include ZEE5, Hungama, Eros Now, HOOQ, ShareIt, YouTube, ShemarooMe, Ultra, Curiosity Stream. Airtel Xstream app also has Live TV including HD channels. You can access the Airtel Xstream app on Android as well as iOS devices. Airtel prepaid plans which start at Rs 129 for 28-days validity offer Airtel Xstream subscriptions, though only the Rs 349 plan with 28-days validity also bundles the Amazon Prime subscription.
Vodafone: The Vodafone REDX gets it all
For Vodafone, if you are a prepaid subscriber, you will get the Vodafone Play subscription as well as premium content from Zee5 with all unlimited recharge packs. The Vodafone Play app gives you access to more than 450 Live TV channels as well as more than 15,000 movies on the platform. Vodafone says the Play content includes movies and TV shows from ZEE5, SonyLIV, Lionsgate Play, Eros Now, Shemaroo Me, Hoichoi, Sun NXT, Hungama, Discovery and Yupp TV. Now that’s out of the way, let us look at the slight complexity that the postpaid plans offer. The entry spec Rs 399 Vodafone RED plan also only offers Vodafone Play and premium Zee5 content. But for the Vodafone RED plan Rs 499 and more, there is the additional sweetener of the Amazon Prime subscription worth Rs 999. However, the flagship Vodafone REDX plan which costs Rs 999 per month gets you one year of Netflix subscription worth Rs 5,998 per year as well, among other advantages such as complimentary international roaming packs and airport lounge access.