The search for movies to watch online has now been simplified by the sheer number of online platforms that offer high-quality content across languages. Some of these have also started hosting original material, that has now helped establish the digital space as an exclusive medium for video content in general. It must be noted that online piracy is a punishable offence and those found in violation could be fined or sent to jail. However, pirated content is still popular in India via websites like Tamilrockers and Jiorockers which thrive on HD torrents of popular movies, thus causing a huge damage to the film industry. The National Cyber Cell, as well as cyber wings of State police departments have been cracking down on such cases, as seen in recent cases registered by the Maharashtra Police.
However, if you are willing to pay a small amount most of the new movies from regional cinema as well as Hollywood and Bollywood are available for legal streaming online. Here is list of most popular online streaming sites in India that offer content via mobile apps, desktop, browser and even television.
How to watch movies online: Netflix
Netflix has now been in India for almost two years, since its introduction in the latter half of 2016. Currently, this platform mainly caters to movies in English and Hindi, though a few regional titles have been added over the recent past. In its push toward original content, Netflix has also started producing some Indian titles, such as the popular Love per Square Foot, besides the popular TV series Sacred Games.
Netflix subscriptions are available in three plans: Basic, Standard and Premium. While the Basic plan, worth Rs 500 per month for a single user, offers standard quality content, the Premium plan, worth Rs 650, can allow two users to login simultaneously, while offering HD content. Also, the Premium subscription of Netflix, worth Rs 800, will allow three users to simultaneously access content, which also opens up UHD videos.
How to watch movies online: Amazon Prime Video
Amazon opened up its Prime membership in late 2016, that offers membership to music and video services, besides premium shopping facilities and offers. While it does not hold original movies, it does offer exclusive video content, like the upcoming show Comicstaan. Besides the regular fare of Hollywood and Bollywood films, Amazon Prime Video also hosts regional language movies, especially many south Indian titles.
Movie buffs can catch Amazon Prime Video content through an Amazon Prime subscription. Currently, Amazon offers a monthly Prime membership plan worth Rs 129, as well as an annual subscription worth Rs 999. This membership also provides access to Amazon Prime Music, alongside high-speed delivery of products, with great deals.
How to watch movies online: Hotstar
Hotstar is the Star India group’s online video portal, that comes with content over many categories, while also including live channel feeds, and live streaming of popular sporting events. Currently, Hotstar offers movies across Indian languages, such as Tamil Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi and Gujarati. This, of course, comes in addition to Bollywood and Hollywood movies. Among the Indian streaming services, Hotstar is the only one to offer restricted content for free. With membership to Hotstar Premium, though, users will be able to access popular titles across many languages.
Hotstar Premium is available on a monthly basis, as well as in form of an annual subscription. Users can opt to pay Rs 129 per month, or Rs 999 per year, to get unlimited access to movies on Hotstar.
How to watch movies online: ALTBalaji
Another desi platform through which users can find movies is ALTBalaji, a platform created by Balaji Telefilms. While it does host Bollywood and regional films, most of the content on the website and the app are original series, or movies produced by Balaji. The app is available for both Android and iOS.
In addition to these, streaming services of Hulu are also popular in the US. Hulu also holds exclusive movie content, while it features major TV series from top American broadcast channels. Currently, Indians will not be able to access the service, though its increasing popularity in Western countries could signal a possible entry into India.