Netflix vs Hotstar: Difference and Comparison

2020 has surely been doomsday for thousands of businesses around the world.

Although there is one industry which laid down the fundamentals of our content and information consuming experience and enjoyed the fruits of success, The Over the Top platforms. 

‘Liberating’ is the word many people use to describe these platforms, most of which are free from state censorship and contain a variety of genres.

The number of OTT platforms has sped in the last couple of years; not many, though, have succeeded as much as Netflix and Hotstar. 

Two streaming giants, originally from two different locations, have managed to become household names because of the quality, controversy, and discussion regarding the shows that feature on them.

Although, in the same field and with a more or less similar type of audience, there remains a lot of difference between them. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Netflix is a streaming platform that offers a wide range of movies, TV shows, and original content, while Hotstar is an Indian streaming platform that focuses on live sports and Indian TV shows.
  2. Netflix is available in most countries worldwide, while Hotstar primarily focuses on the Indian market.
  3. Netflix offers various content across multiple genres, while Hotstar focuses more on Indian sports and entertainment.

Netflix vs Hotstar

Netflix provides a diverse selection of original and licensed content from a variety of genres, and Netflix requires a paid subscription. Hotstar provides Indian entertainment content, including sports, live TV, and free ad-supported service.

Netflix vs Hotstar

Structurally, the payment option of Hotstar is dependent on the type of subscription the user chooses, VIP or Premium. Netflix has no subscription layer; it determines the nature of payment according to the screen you prefer to view your content.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonNetflixHotstar
Created in19972015
Subscribers182 million73.7 million
Highest IMDB rated movie (2020)Schindler’s listInterstellar
Owned by Reed HastingsStar India
Country of originUnited States of AmericaIndia

What is Netflix?

Developed in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, Netflix was a ‘Pay per rental’ DVD provider. Today it is the largest content streaming platform in the world.

Netflix was one of the first to start this business and make it big by moulding itself according to the needs of the times. 

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Netflix has over 183 million subscribers in 190 countries. It is unavailable in countries like Syria, North Korea, and China.

Along with gigantic bases all over the planet, Netflix is mostly famous for its content quality, the reach of the same, and linguistic diversity.

Netflix was the perfect thing to happen to the world in the late 20th century when the world was on the threshold of starting anew in many sectors.

The concept of piracy plagued many content creators and distributors around the same time. In the beginning, Netflix distributed authorized DVDs to people’s doorsteps.

The makers might have had no idea that a small DVD distribution would help sustain millions of lives 20 years later.

Netflix’s graph was parallel to the growing popularity of pop culture. When DVD players were the new market, Netflix launched the world’s first online DVD rental store. 

On 10th July 2020, Market Capitalization declared Netflix the largest entertainment media industry. Netflix not only streams movies by different national and international banners but also has its own in-house production house, which makes movies worldwide.


What is Hotstar?

Owned by Star India and subsidized by Walt Disney, Hotstar (+ Disney) is India’s most successful online streaming OTT platform.

With over 300 million active and 18 million paid users, Hotstar tops the list of India’s numerically best OTT platforms.

Starting in 2015, Hotstar struck a chord with one of the world’s largest populations by streaming cricket matches in India. This decision turned out to be extremely beneficial for the platform. 

During the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Hotstar garnered 340 million-plus views. The same year, it got 200 million views from streaming the cash-rich cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League.

4 years later, in 2019, the final match of the IPL attracted 18.6 million eyeballs and thus broke all records. Another match broke this record, the 2019 Cricket World Cup Semi-Final between India and New Zealand, with 25.3 million views.

The record is still unbroken.

Not many in India are fascinated by Western TV shows and the US, and UK specials, except for the urban population. Though infamous for the unintentional humour, Indian daily soaps still are the primary option of the majority in the country.

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Although Hotstar has a 2 tier payment system, the Indian tv shows and the daily soaps are free. This fact has added to the popularity of Hotstar and made it a household name. 


Main Differences Between Netflix and Hotstar

  1. Censorship – Netflix streams shows primarily uncensored. However, there are instances when Netflix had to edit scene two for convenience in certain countries. Hotstar here is more infamous for undertaking the acts of censoring content. Disney is one of the co-owners of the application; any comment or joke against Disney characters is censored. 
  2. Subscription – Netflix has a single-tier subscription system; it only changes for different screens. Hotstar has two subscription options, VIP and Premium. Both of which provide a different range of content.
  3. The quality of a video on Netflix depends on the internet speed and cannot be altered manually. In the case of Hotstar, one can manually change the quality of the video.
  4. The highest quality of video on Netflix is 4K ultra HD, while that on Hotstar is 1080p (4k for premium)
  5. On Netflix, a video can be downloaded multiple times. On Hotstar, if users don’t watch the downloaded content in 7 days, they can never download it again.
Difference Between Netflix and Hotstar

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Netflix vs Hotstar: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The rise of OTT platforms like Netflix and Hotstar is a testament to the changing dynamics of media consumption. Netflix’s global reach and diverse content lineup complement Hotstar’s focus on Indian entertainment and sports. Both platforms have addressed the evolving preferences of audiences, contributing to their widespread success.

    • I couldn’t agree more. The emergence of OTT platforms has redefined the entertainment industry, and Netflix and Hotstar have played pivotal roles in this transformation. Their contributions have diversified content choices and enhanced the viewing experience for audiences around the world.

    • Absolutely, the competition and innovation in the OTT industry have raised the bar for content quality and accessibility. Netflix and Hotstar’s distinct offerings have reshaped the entertainment landscape, offering viewers a plethora of options across different genres and regions.

  2. The growth and influence of Netflix and Hotstar in the OTT industry reflect the changing dynamics of content consumption. Netflix’s global reach and diverse content library complement Hotstar’s tailored focus on Indian sports and entertainment. Both platforms have significantly impacted the digital entertainment sector.

  3. Netflix’s expansive content library and global accessibility have propelled it to the forefront of the OTT industry. On the other hand, Hotstar’s emphasis on Indian entertainment and sports has solidified its position as a market leader in India. Both platforms have reshaped the digital entertainment landscape.

    • Indeed, the competition and innovation in the OTT industry have elevated the quality and variety of available content. Netflix and Hotstar’s distinct strengths and offerings reflect the evolving preferences of global and Indian audiences.

    • Absolutely, their contributions to the OTT industry have been remarkable, showcasing the power of diverse content offerings and targeted programming strategies. Netflix and Hotstar have set new standards for content streaming platforms.

  4. Netflix has certainly revolutionized the entertainment industry with its vast library of movies and TV shows from various genres. Hotstar, however, has capitalized on the Indian market by providing content focused on Indian sports and entertainment. It’s impressive how both platforms have carved their own niches in the streaming industry.

    • Indeed, both Netflix and Hotstar have contributed significantly to the OTT industry. It’s fascinating to see how they have evolved and adapted to the changing landscape of digital entertainment. Their impact on global and Indian audiences, respectively, cannot be denied.

    • Absolutely, the two platforms have taken different approaches to reach their audiences. Netflix’s global presence and diverse content library stand in contrast to Hotstar’s focused approach on Indian entertainment and sports. It’s interesting to see how their strategies have led to their respective successes.

  5. The success stories of Netflix and Hotstar underscore the dynamic nature of the OTT industry. Netflix’s global expansion and diverse content portfolio contrast with Hotstar’s focus on Indian sports and entertainment. Both platforms have secured their positions through targeted strategies.

    • Absolutely, their respective approaches have proven effective in capturing and engaging audiences. The competition and innovation between Netflix and Hotstar have reshaped the digital entertainment landscape, offering viewers unparalleled content choices.

    • I completely agree. Netflix and Hotstar have demonstrated remarkable adaptability and strategic positioning in the OTT industry. Their contributions have redefined the streaming landscape, setting new benchmarks for content quality and audience engagement.

  6. Netflix was a trailblazer in the content streaming industry, and its growth has been impressive. Hotstar, on the other hand, has succeeded in the Indian market and has dominated the online streaming industry in the country. Both platforms offer unique and diverse content, catering to different audiences worldwide.

    • I agree Netflix has achieved massive success, but Hotstar should not be underestimated. Its focus on Indian sports and entertainment has made it a leader in the Indian market. The two platforms have their own strengths and cater to different audiences.

  7. Netflix and Hotstar epitomize the transformative journey of OTT platforms. Netflix’s global expansion and content diversity resonate with international audiences, while Hotstar’s emphasis on Indian entertainment and sports has captivated the local market. Their successes highlight the evolving preferences of viewers worldwide.

    • Absolutely, their distinct offerings and targeted strategies have reshaped the landscape of digital entertainment. The competition and innovation between Netflix and Hotstar have set new standards for content streaming platforms, driving the evolution of OTT experiences.

  8. While both Netflix and Hotstar have achieved significant success in the OTT industry, their approaches and target audiences differ. Netflix’s global presence and diverse content library contrast with Hotstar’s focus on Indian sports and entertainment, catering to distinct market segments.

  9. The contrasting strategies and successes of Netflix and Hotstar are indicative of the dynamic evolution of the OTT industry. While Netflix has established a global presence and diverse content archive, Hotstar has focused on Indian entertainment and sports, effectively capturing the local market. Their contributions have redefined content consumption.

    • Indeed, Netflix and Hotstar have transformed the digital entertainment landscape with their targeted approaches and diverse offerings. Their impact on global and Indian audiences underscores the shifting paradigms of content consumption and audience engagement.

    • Absolutely, the competition and innovation between Netflix and Hotstar have propelled the OTT industry to new heights. Their distinct approaches have widened the scope of content availability, enriching the entertainment experiences of audiences across different regions.

  10. The dichotomy between Netflix and Hotstar underscores the multifaceted nature of the OTT industry. Netflix’s global footprint and genre-spanning content library contrast with Hotstar’s focused approach on Indian sports and entertainment. Both platforms have revolutionized the content streaming landscape.

    • Absolutely, their strategic positioning and content curation have redefined the parameters of content availability and audience engagement. Netflix and Hotstar have set exceptional benchmarks for the OTT industry, driving competition and innovation in the digital entertainment sphere.

    • Indeed, the impact of Netflix and Hotstar on the OTT industry cannot be understated. Their unique strengths and tailored offerings reflect the evolving preferences and diverse needs of global and Indian audiences, shaping the future of digital content consumption.


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