Hotstar is one streaming app that has evolved the most over the period of time. I remember in the initial days how the user interface was not so great. A few months later, the app introduced the 10 second rewind button and the communications team shared how this would be a great addition for people who use the app to watch sports content.
Around the same time, Hotstar added Game of Thrones in the content and with that a lot more people started to use the premium version of the app. Some of the users that I had a chance to talk to said how they did not like the app and might even discuss how it was still WIP but they did not mind paying Rs150 per month to watch the cult series along with the world in HD and uncensored.
In the last year, the additions that Hotstar has worked hard on the tech aspects of the app. There are still a lot of things that need to be ironed out but the app certainly has come a long way.
The content lineup for Hotstar looks strong. One can find all shows that are aired on Star channels such as Star Plus and Star Bharat on the site. In the couple of years, Hotstar too has picked up rights to many sporting events that one can watch on the app. I don’t remember any tennis tournament that I wanted to catch and that not being available on this streaming channel.
In October last year, Hotstar got into a partnership with Hooq. For those unaware, Hooq is another streaming app that had streaming rights to a bunch of great international shows including hugely popular Friends, The Big Bang Theory and Grey’s Anatomy. While these shows have a huge connect with the urban population and the youth, what was missing in Hotstar was fresh content and now the company is looking at addressing the same.
Hotstar recently announced five originals under the new category of ‘Hotstar Specials’ that includes Indian Cricket MS Dhoni in a Hindi language docudrama called Roar of the Lion, remake of British shows The Office and Criminal Justice, and Israeli drama Hostages.
The fifth one is a Mumbai based political drama called City of Dreams, which is directed by Nagesh Kukunoor and stars Atul Kulkarni, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Priya Bapat, Eijaz Khan and Siddharth Chandekar.
Apart from Roar of the Lion, the rest of the shows under ‘Hotstar Specials’ are a result of partnership of Hotstar with Applause Entertainment, which is the content studio from the Aditya Birla Group. These new originals by Hotstar will be available in seven languages that include Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
The trailer for Roar of the Lion is already out and the show will start streaming from March 20.
The release date has been marked as “Coming soon” and we hope that these indeed stream in March-April timeframe to coincide with the IPL season.
Hotstar already claims to be the country’s biggest OTT with over a 15 crore monthly active users base and these additions will further strengthen its position in the market. However, we still need that the app can do with some fine tweaks.
Also while it continues to add new content, it should also look at ways to offer some of its old shows that are still in demand or are talked about. Here I am referring to the shows that were aired on Star Plus years ago and were uploaded on YouTube as a part of Star Classics but now people rely on Tune.pk or pirated sites to watch these.
What do you think of the new Hotstar specials and which one are you looking forward to? Share in the comments below.