Over-the-top (OTT) media services have become extremely popular worldwide in the last few years. In fact, just in a span of one year OTT streaming to TVs increased by 115%. The easy access to content from our smartphones and tablets is too convenient to disregard, especially when people seem to be on the go all the time.
Those who recognized the potential of OTT early on now have millions of users who pay a monthly subscription to gain access to new content. People are willing to set aside a portion of their hard-earned money if what they get in return is worth it. And the world seems to have decided that OTT is definitely worth it. Namely, one study revealed that the OTT market was worth $121.61 billion in 2019.
OTT’s popularity is followed by another trend. People are cutting the cord now more than ever before. According to Statista, more than 46 million U.S. households will cut their pay TV cord by 2024. And what will all of these people use to have fun and unwind? The answer is obvious — some of the best OTT apps!
Thanks to these apps, we can now commute or travel and watch amazing content anywhere, anytime. It is safe to say that video content is being reshaped by OTT video apps. If you plan to launch an OTT app of your own, great examples are what you need to get some inspiration.
In this article, we’ll focus on the best OTT apps that have millions of subscribers. Watch and learn from them!
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Netflix has been dominating the OTT market for years now. In fact, it has around 209 million global paid memberships as of Q2 2021. It is safe to say that Netflix has found its place in almost everyone’s smartphone. The majority of internet users would say that it is one of the best OTT apps available and that others pale in comparison. Its popularity is evident in the fact that the app has crossed more than one billion downloads on Google Play.
But why is Netflix the go-to OTT mobile app nowadays? The answer is quite simple — because of its content. Netflix offers a variety of original TV shows, movies, docuseries, and other content types. From famous movies like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Gone Girl, Matrix, to smash TV hits like Bridgerton, You, and Euphoria, you will find everything on Netflix. As far as content is concerned, almost no other app can compare to it.
Then, Netflix is completely ad-free, which is why it is often listed as one of the best OTT apps! However, customers need to subscribe to one of the available plans. The most affordable plan is Basic whose price is $8.99 in the United States per month. If you go with this plan, then you can watch Netflix on one screen at the same time. Want to share your account with more people? Netflix has thought of that as well!
Namely, there is the Standard plan, a $13.99-per-month investment that allows you to watch content on two screens at the same time. Finally, you can choose the Premium plan and pay $17.99 to enable four people to access Netflix at the same time.
Hulu has emerged as one of the best OTT apps in the last couple of years. It has almost 40 million paying subscribers and nearly 100 million total viewers. Some compare it to Netflix, but Hulu still has a long way to go. Unlike Netflix which is available worldwide, Hulu is only available in the USA and Japan at the moment. However, there are plans to expand its footprint globally.
In the markets it has penetrated, Hulu is quite popular owing to a blend of old and new hit TV series like Seinfeld and Futurama. The company has a few original shows on the app, including critically acclaimed The Handmaid’s Tale. But users seem to turn to it to travel back in time and relive their childhood memories.
Furthermore, Hulu releases new episodes around a day or so after they have aired on TV, meaning viewers don’t need to worry about missing their favorite shows. On the other hand, Netflix tends to release an entire season of a show at once, which makes binge watching easier! We’ll leave it to you to decide whether the best OTT apps should follow Netflix or Hulu’s example.
Hulu offers four subscription plans to its audience. The starter plan costs $5.99 per month, but it includes ads to cover the expense of the app. If you want an ad-free viewing experience, then you can upgrade to Hulu (No Ads) plan for $11.99 per month. What makes Hulu unique is the fact you can customize your account with add-ons such as HBO and Showtime or even Live TV channels. But this will set you back $64.99 per month.
Along with Netflix and Hulu, Amazon has created a new market that has changed the way people watch movies, TV shows, and other video content. Amazon’s on demand service, Amazon Prime Video, ranked third among companies with the biggest influence on digital video in 2020, coming after Netflix and Disney. This OTT streaming app has 117 million subscribers around the world.
Amazon Prime Video is probably the best Netflix alternative. The app functions similarly to Neftlix, enabling users to browse its library of movies and TV series. The content it offers is also on par with that on Netflix. Some titles like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Jack Ryan are only available on Amazon Prime Video. Viewers can expect to see some original shows as well as Amazon plans to release more original content in the near future. Publishers and content creators know how important it is to release original content, which is why we need to include Prime Video with other best OTT apps!
What’s more, the Amazon Prime subscription gives users access to Prime Video. However, they can also use it as a stand-alone service for $8.99 per month. This is the only available subscription plan at the moment. Prime Video is popular because it offers a selection customers won’t find anywhere else. This content can be watched on practically any device connected to the internet.
Disney Plus is certainly the youngest OTT app on the market, having launched in November 2019. In less than two years, the app has attracted 116 million subscribers, proving it is a serious threat to the industry giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. But its success doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, Disney is a household name — we all grew up watching its cartoons and movies.
Unlike some other best OTT apps, Disney Plus is focused specifically on family-oriented entertainment. So, users choose it to provide their children with a platform that gives them access to their favorite Disney cartoons and movies on demand. Disney also produces enjoyable original content, enabling people to bond over a good movie or TV show. The company is also the studio behind some of the most popular franchises, including Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.
Disney Plus’ subscription plan costs $8 a month, making it cheaper than competing OTT streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. This price is one of the reasons why Disney Plus amassed more than 100 million subscribers in such a short time. Disney also owns Hulu and customers can purchase a bundle which includes Hulu and ESPN+ for $14 per month.
Let’s see the last streaming service on our list of the best OTT apps!
HBO has a lot to offer to the video streaming market. The company has launched several services that enable viewers to watch content whenever they want and wherever they are. Currently, its most popular service is HBO Max. This OTT app has almost 30 million subscribers, but it is only available in certain countries, including the USA and Latin America.
What makes HBO Max one of the best OTT apps is the fact that it offers a lot of content. It’s safe to say that if you choose HBO’s video streaming platform, you won’t be disappointed one bit. HBO has produced some of the best and most popular TV shows and all of them are available on its video streaming app. This includes shows like Chernobyl, Game of Thrones, and Westworld.
Furthermore, HBO Max is also great because it doesn’t only contain HBO shows. There are shows from other entertainment companies, including Friends, Pretty Little Liars, and The Big Bang Theory.
Subscription to HBO Max costs $14.99 per month. When you consider the prices of other video streaming services in our article, that’s a lot of money. However, we can say that the price is justified given the size of its content library.
The five apps we mentioned in the article are the best OTT apps currently on the market. If you plan to launch your own OTT app, you can learn quite a lot from them. Take note that their popularity comes from the fact that viewers can watch original content, some of which they cannot find on any other platform on the internet.