Netflix is perhaps feeling the heat of the upcoming launch of the Disney Plus, or Disney+, video streaming service in India. Not soon after Netflix had taken away the sweetener of offering the first month free for new subscribers, the streaming giant is offering a new plan to select new subscribers in India—the first month at Rs 5, before switching to the regular subscription from the second month onwards. This offer is only available as an introductory offer to select new subscribers, and not for existing users or anyone who is signing up again for a Netflix subscription. You can just hope you are lucky enough.
Netflix currently offers four subscription plans in India. The mobile-only plan is priced at Rs 199 per month, the standard definition (SD) single-screen plan costs Rs 499 per month, the High Definition plan which lets you stream on two screens costs Rs 649 per month while the top-tier Ultra HD 4K four screen plan costs Rs 799 per month.
In India, Netflix competes with the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Zee5, Sony Liv and Voot. Hotstar will be launching the Disney+ content on March 29. At this time, it is not clear how Hotstar will offer the Disney+ content to its existing Hotstar VIP subscriptions (Rs 365 per year) and Hotstar Premium subscriptions (Rs 299 per month or Rs 999 per year). At Rs 365 for an entire year, the Hotstar VIP subscription plan is among the most inexpensive annual subscription plan among all streaming services in India. For instance, 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 500 per month and there is no annual subscription option. Among the Indian streaming services that also let you stream some Live TV channels as Hotstar also does, Sony Liv charges Rs 499 per year for the premium pack, while Zee5 will cost Rs 999 per year for the All Access Pack.
Hotstar VIP subscription will include live sports streaming on the platform, as well as access to all Hotstar Specials, the platform’s original content such as the Roar of The Lion featuring MS Dhoni and all of Star India’s local language content. The sports streaming includes all cricket matches that Hotstar has the rights to stream, including the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket tournament, as well as the English Premier League football and Formula 1. The Star India content will include programs from channels including Star Plus, Life OK, Star Bharat, and Star Utsav. At the moment, Hotstar VIP is only available as an annual subscription pack, though we could get a monthly subscription option too at some point. But the annual lock-in period perhaps dictates that you make your selection wisely between paying for Hotstar VIP or Hotstar Premium, the latter being the top-tier subscription option. What is not included in the Hotstar VIP subscription is the international content, such as the shows from HBO original programming, Showtime, ABC Studios and streaming service Hooq. If you wish to access the international movies and TV shows as well, you will need to subscribe to the Hotstar Premium subscription, priced at Rs 299 per month or Rs 999 if you wish to pay in one go for a year.