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#10 Tips and Tricks to Make the Most Out of Streaming Platforms Here are expert tips that will help you unlock the maximum benefits and potential of streaming services you have signed up for

By Priyadarshini Patwa

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The lockdown may have forced people to stay indoors for their safety, but their minds are free to wander as far as they like. On the days where you want to escape the mundane and explore thrill, adventure, laughter, sadness, fear, or scores of other feelings being a couch potato, OTT platforms come for your rescue. Watch anything when you want on any device, and not be subject to archaic concepts like showtimes.

Almost every millennial has at least one account on a streaming platform, be it Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Hotstar, or Zee5 services. These OTT platforms are the unsung heroes in the times of endless boredom and household chores. Even if you are working from home, tackling unprecedented challenges each hour, you need some entertainment at the end of the day. But you also need to know how to make the best of streaming services that you have subscribed to.

To get the best tips, Entrepreneur India spoke to Ankit Chhajer, Co-founder, Flixjini: one platform for your all online streaming problems, who gives us 10 tips and trick that will help you unlock the maximum benefits and potential of streaming services you have signed up for:

1. Choose the Right OTT for Your Language

Almost all OTT platforms now available for the Indian audience have content in Hindi and English. The popular ones have movies in regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bengali.

Some OTTs truly excel in some languages. Disney+ Hotstar have great Malayalam movies, SunNxt has a large library of Tamil content. Hoichoi specializes in Bengali content and Zee5 has great originals in multiple regional languages. Choose special OTT for your language. ErosNow has a good collection of Hindi Movies. On the other hand, Netflix has great English and some Hindi content but no other Indian regional language content at all.

"There is so much to choose from. Based on your need, opt for two to three streaming services to meet your streaming needs within the family," said Chhajer.

2. Choose the Right OTT for Your Content-Type

Do you prefer watching a specific kind of content more often? There are 5 types of content usually - Movies, TV Shows, Reality Shows, News, and Sports. Some platforms serve you better on one content-type vs. the other.

Explaining the same he said, "Hotstar and SonyLIV specialize in sports. They have rights to the most popular sports tournaments that most Indians watch. Few streaming services such as Zee5, SunNxt, Voot, and Hotstar cover the latest news from across the country and the globe. If you enjoy live television including series, movies, sports, newscasts, and documentaries as they are being aired, you should check out Airtel Xstream TV, Disney+ Hotstar, Voot, SonyLIV, Ditto TV, Zee5, ErosNow, Hoichoi, or YuppTV."

3. Keep An Eye Out For Free Content:

There is a lot of free content available across a lot of streaming services. MX Player, TVF and Tubi are completely free. If you are subscribed to one of the telco operators or DTH, their platform may be available to access for free such as Jio Cinemas, Airtel Stream, TataSky, or Vodafone Play. Check with them to ensure you are eligible.

A few others are on the freemium model - they provide free movies and premium paid movies as well, such as Zee5, HotStar, YouTube, etc. Some others such as Netflix and Prime Video are entirely paid. Prime Video gives you an added benefit of free shipping on their e-commerce platform.

"There are some platforms that have a trial period of 2 weeks or a month that you can take advantage of. Remember to unsubscribe if it doesn't serve your need and you decide not to move to a paid model. Trail models always help to understand if the service serves your purpose," he said.

4. Check Reviews & Ratings before You Watch

There is a lot of content out there and it is only understandable if you don't enjoy all of it. Getting ratings and reviews may help you discover what is truly aligned to your interests, likes, and dislikes, and what you can skip. Well, other parameters can help you narrow your options down. You can check the cast, box office numbers, awards, reviews, ratings, and such meta-information. You may have a watchlist, but it may still need some work to suit your watching interest.

Chhajer recommends when you don't have many times than short films are to go-to entertainment options. Hungama Play, Voot, ErosNow, and Jio Cinema have some of the best and latest short films in regional languages as well as in English. The only thing limited is your time, use it wisely.

5. Make a Watchlist

Making a watchlist is just as important as browsing the new content. You can create one or more watchlists, depending on which OTT platform you use. Watchlists allow you to save interesting shows and movies for later but more importantly allow you to quickly start watching content and not spend hours looking for on what to watch.

"If you want everything at one place then combining the watchlist across all OTT platforms in one place on content aggregating platforms like Flixjini, ReelGood, JustWatch – saves you the trouble of going to multiple apps to see what to watch tonight," he said.

6. Use Separate Profiles

OTT platforms like Netflix & Prime Videos allow you to set up different profiles with-in the same account. This helps you keep your watchlist, watch history, and recommendations personalized to your taste. Each platform has a limit on the number of profiles you can create.

7. OTTs for Kids

Some streaming service providers have a separate kids section or a separate app altogether making it easy to set it up for your kids. YouTube and Voot have dedicated applications for kids. Others such as Netflix, Prime Video, Zee5, Hungama Play, VootKids, ShemarooMe, and Disney+ Hotstar have a dedicated Kids section.

8. Track Movies & Shows Already Watched

When you sit down to watch, the last thing you want is to browse through the same set of movies and series you have already watched. Some platforms provide you with an option to mark a movie "seen'.

"Look for platforms that unify all streaming sources in one place. You can then maintain a profile to mark a movie/show as seen or liked/disliked. Once you do that, you don't see the same set of movies again. Additionally, the streaming service can recommend the hidden gems of the Movies & Shows which are otherwise difficult to find," he said.

9. Find the Best Originals

Some OTT platforms are particularly popular for their originals - movies and TV shows. You wouldn't want to miss out on them. Zee5, Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar, ErosNow, Hungama Play, Voot, YuppTv, Viu, Alt Balaji, Hoichoi, TVF, MX Player, QuibiTV and Aha video have some of the most amazing and creative original content that all movie-buffs and series-bingers should check out.

10. Download & Watch Feature

Troubled by poor network connection during the lockdown? You don't want to slow the internet to pour water on your popcorn and chilling plans. Here's when you should download the TV series you want to watch in advance with Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube Red. However, only select content is available for offline watching on these platforms. One can try Spuul Premium, MUBI, and Hungama Premium for unlimited offline watching of movie titles and TV series.

During the lockdown, streaming platforms can become a pleaser to your soul, your window to another world! You simply have to choose the right streaming services, and then manage your accounts/profiles smartly to make the most of the original and new releases on each OTT.

Also Read:

#8 Apps to Stay Creative, Entertaining and Artistic During Covid-19

#4 Entertainment Hacks to Create a Cinematic Experience at Home

How Covid-19 Increased Viewer's Appetite for OTT Content

7 Alternate Reality and Parallel Universe Series That People Are Binge-watching During Lockdown

Priyadarshini Patwa

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur India

Priyadarshini Patwa is the Former Features Editors of Entrepreneur India and hosted an Instagram show every Friday named ‘Lighten Up’, about people from different walks of life and talk about their work and beyond. She handled the lifestyle, features, technology, entertainment segments and was also responsible for the Digital Covers. Previously she has worked with MensXP, a Times of India entity and Deccan Chronicle. 

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