Should You Subscribe to Hotstar VIP or Hotstar Premium Ahead of IPL 2019?

Should You Subscribe to Hotstar VIP or Hotstar Premium Ahead of IPL 2019?
The TV streaming space is getting quite competitive. The Star India-owned streaming service Hotstar has announced another subscription plan ahead of the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 T20 cricket tournament. The new subscription plan is called Hotstar VIP, and this is priced at Rs 365 per year. This comes just ahead of the IPL 2019 T20 cricket extravaganza, which will be streamed exclusively on Hotstar. Hotsrar VIP is the second subscription option on Hotstar, the other being the all-inclusive Hotstar Premium plan priced at Rs 199 per month or Rs 999 per year.

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 IPL 2019, as well as the English Premier League 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.

Hotstar VIP, at Rs 365 per year, is perhaps an ideal subscription plan for anyone who wants to stay tuned in to the IPL 2019 live action on Hotstar and will also mostly stream the Indian language content on the platform.

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 199 per month or Rs 999 if you wish to pay in one go for a year.

At Rs 365 for an entire year, the Hotstar VIP subscription plan 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.

However, there is the fine difference of the content—just the price tag doesn’t betray the whole picture. At Rs 999 per year, Amazon Prime for instance gives you access to all the content on the platform, irrespective of genre, language or categorization. The same goes for the Rs 999 per year subscription that Zee5 also charges. The same applies for Sony Liv as well. If you are to look at getting the complete package, with access to any and all content on the platform including international content, all competing streaming services must be compared with the Hotstar Premium subscription—and that is also priced at Rs 999 per year.

Incidentally, Hotstar is discontinuing the annual All Sports plan priced at Rs 299 per year, and the subscribers for those plans will be shifted to Hotstar VIP.