Airtel’s Video Streaming Bet to Rival Reliance Jio, Hotstar

The Star India-owned mobile streaming platform can be accessed from the Airtel TV app. 

Tech News
3 min read
Hindi Female

Airtel might be matching Reliance Jio with its pocket-friendly data plans, but that’s not the only point of focus for the telecom operator. As we’ve seen over the past year or so, video streaming via mobile devices has gained massive traction in the country, and Jio already caters to that with its Jio Cinema and Jio TV app.

Airtel has been lagging in this department but their latest content partnership with Hotstar adds another feather to their digital cap, appealing to its existing user base.

The telco has confirmed this tie-up on Monday, promising access to 22 Live channels and 3000 plus movies. However, we haven’t been able to find Hotstar on the Airtel TV app, which is likely to roll out in the coming days.


Airtel can’t match up to Reliance Jio’s in-house content boutique, and this is were third-party tie-up gives them something to offer to its customers. Joining hands with Hotstar does seem like a logical move, especially when you won’t have to pay for most of the regular services, provided by the Star India-owned multimedia app.

But Airtel isn’t the only one which can benefit from this move. Hotstar is primarily working on the advertisement and freemium (offering content free of cost) model, which is why, as per the last recorded user data, it has over 75 million users on its network.

Even after downloading the Airtel TV app, and getting access to content from Hotstar, you’d still have to pay the regular subscription fees, to watch exclusive content like the Game of Thrones and Live feed of the Indian Premier League 2018.

The Star India-owned mobile streaming platform can be accessed from the Airtel TV app. 
Amazon Prime subscription bundled for Airtel broadband users. 
(Photo: The Quint)

This way, Airtel could add more users to its network (it has significantly revised its data plans also) and Hotstar could do the same.

Airtel TV currently has HooQ, Eros Now and Sony Liv app on its platform. 

In addition to these, Airtel is luring customers by bundling one-year membership to Amazon Prime Video, smart plan to convince people to opt for higher data plan, thereby increasing its average revenue per user (ARPU) which has fallen from Rs 145 to Rs 123 in the previous quarter.

The Star India-owned mobile streaming platform can be accessed from the Airtel TV app. 
Netflix plays on Apple Watch Series 3. 
(Photo: The Quint/@2shar)

Voice calling measures are no longer the criteria for choosing a telecom network, something which also became evident when Vodafone partnered with Netflix for similar offers.

General users still prefer to choose between Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar to some extent, but clearly, Airtel believes that even the conventional TV users can be lured to network with platforms such as Hooq, Eros Now and Sony Liv.

Nobody knows if benefits like these will go down well with consumers, but for Airtel and Co, it’s matter of staying in touch with the rest of the pack.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


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Topics:  Hotstar   Netflix India   Airtel Vs Jio 

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