Hoichoi, a BDT499/year Bengali alternative to Netflix

What if we tell you that there is a video streaming platform with a subscription of only BDT 499 per year? Yes, Hoichoi is here with a library of over 500 Bengali movies, exclusive original shows and shorts, and they are adding new content every month!

Hoichoi, a 499BDT/year Bengali alternative to Netflix?

They also have over 1,000+ Bengali songs from the most popular albums for the music buffs out there. Their collection doesn’t end here. Hoichoi is releasing films and documentaries soon.

Easy payment methods

All of this, for only BDT 499 a year! And to make the payment process easier and accessible to everyone, they have all sorts of transaction options. Including the major cards and even bKash.

About Hoichoi

Hoichoi is a Bengali on-demand video streaming service based in West Bengal. A concern of SVF films of Kolkata, Hoichoi boasts an impressive collection of West Bengal based films and TV series’ as well as a decent but growing number of Bangladeshi based content.

From Satyajit to Srijit, it offers all types of films. Starting from classics these days’ modern films and all the genres in between. Hoichoi offers videos in every quality options generally available: 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p.

Read more: TV shows you shouldn’t have watched but did anyway

The same with music! You get to listen to popular Bangla songs of the past two decades on Hoichoi. No more struggle of downloading songs separately, let them take care of that. And just when we thought it can’t get any better than this, the music streaming is completely free on Hoichoi mobile app!

Is it worth it?

Chances are, you, the reader, are a member of the young generation, who worships Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hoichoi might not sound very “worth it” to you even after all this.

But you can consider getting the subscription for your parents who are old-school, who probably might not understand the hype of Netflix, but will definitely love this site. For the love of Satyajit and Uttam Kumar at least. Let them also get on the hype train of online streaming!

Hoichoi is a place for all Bengali culture lovers. Doesn’t matter if you are divided by boundaries, every source of Bengali entertainment can be in your grasp through this site. You now can enjoy non-stop Bengali entertainment online, anytime and anywhere!

Netflix finally has competition, it’s Disney

Disney has set its sights at the streaming industry for a while. Talks of the company starting a streaming service have been going around since before 2017. Finally, it has been stated by Disney that they will launch their service on 12 November 2019. It has been named Disney+ and it’s in a direct collision course with all the existing streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and most importantly Netflix.

Difficult scenario for Disney

Netflix is by far the biggest streaming service in the world right now. It has around 139 million paid subscribers worldwide. For comparison, Amazon Prime Video has around 20 million and Hulu has less than 1 million. Even the closest competitor falls short by more than 100 million users. In this environment, Disney has decided to disrupt the market and take over Netflix’s reign with Disney+.

That is not an easy feat to accomplish. There need to be concrete plans and attractive offers for customers to make the jump from one product to another. Disney knows this and has already taken steps. Its streaming service will allow users to sign up for only $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. When compared to the prices offered by Netflix of $7.99 a month, it’s a whole dollar less. Clearly, Disney+ wins in the when it comes to the price plans provided.

Price is not the only consideration for the audience though. Being cheaper does nothing if there’s nothing to be gained in return for the money. If there are no shows or movies that people would actually want to watch on the platform, there will be no reason to switch. Netflix gives its users access to around over 5,500 titles that include both TV shows and movies. Disney needs to start with at least somewhat comparable catalogue to stand a chance.

A handful of brilliant shows

The people at Disney also realizes this, and seemingly, they are ready to step up to the challenge. Disney+ will have all the classic Disney movies like Bambi and The Lion King, the Star Wars movies, and Marvel’s and Fox’s original movies and shows like The Simpsons. They also plan to have at least a dozen or so Disney originals up on the platform in the first year of its operation. All of these will be exclusive to Disney+.

That means Netflix might lose the rights to show Marvel movie or Fox shows on its site and have to concede them to the mouse.

On top of all this, Disney has resolved to weather through losses up until 2024. They expect that the service will not be profitable until 2024 and they are ready to stick with it until then. That kind of commitment can only be made by Disney and it’s hard to imagine that any other company will be able to go toe to toe with that level of dedication.

The announcement of Disney+ has been a meteor to the media industry. The ripples of the impact can only be felt as all the players are shifting in their seats. The aggressive pricing plan and the enviable library of content that the service is poised to launch with will change the landscape of streaming service industry for certain.

Marvel, Netflix and the future of streaming

If you subscribe to a video streaming service, it’s quite possible that you don’t have much to complain about regarding things to watch. Online video streaming services have firmly and quite rightfully put the nail in the coffin of cable TV service for a long time now. Having a lot of movies and TV shows on demand is quite appealing, it turns out. The cable model was too inefficient and expensive compared to streaming, and thus a mass exodus occurred which saw a millions of viewers switching to streaming services, completely disrupting the cable market. And now the streaming market is about to be disrupted as well. The irony is it’s doing it to itself.

Shutting down beloved shows

Marvel, Netflix and the future of streaming 1

It wasn’t too long ago that Luke Cage and Iron fist, both parts of Marvel’s extended TV universe, were pulled from Netflix. These cancellations could have been attributed to the shows’ quality, which didn’t exactly agree with everyone. But the shock came with the most recent cancellation of Marvel’s Daredevil, the oldest and inarguably the most popular of Marvel’s TV shows on Netflix. And that it occurred after a critically acclaimed third season added to the surprise. “Why is this happening?” is the question that haunts the viewer.

Well, a statistic from Jumpshot suggests despite the great quality of Daredevil’s third season, viewership for the show had gone down by almost a third compared to the earlier seasons. But thing is that viewership was still nothing to ignore. It would only get more popular because of how good it was. The real reason lies in a much larger issue. Disney, Marvel’s parent company, plans to launch its own streaming service, Disney+.

Disney pulling out

A direct competitor to Netflix?

Disney’s plans to launch their own streaming service constitute a multitude of problems. First of all, Disney+ will be a direct competitor to Netflix. This makes having one of Disney’s shows on their platform basically serves as an advertisement for a rival company. Moreover, Disney is adopting an aggressive approach to this service. They are gobbling up all the IPs it can get its hands on. It is unlikely that we’ll get to see these shows on their streaming service. Disney has made it quite clear that Disney+ will be a PG-13 rated family friendly product. No R-Rated movies or shows on it, those will be released by Hulu of which Disney currently owns 30%.

Too many services

Disney’s decision gives light to a bigger issue, the influx of streaming services. Netflix has always had solid competitors in Amazon Prime or Hulu, but now it’s about to have a lot more. Disney has already announced its plans. Then there’s NewTV by DreamWorks which plans to provide original 10-minute shows, DC Universe, the heavily rumored Apple TV. These along with existing services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon and HBO are about to flood the streaming service cyberspace and seriously confuse your wallet.  

The struggle for consumers

Statistics from PCMag.com

Now all this competition should sound like a win for the consumers. Yet, there are multiple reasons why this might be actually very bad. For a person with varied taste, this is actually the worst kind of news. The most recent struggle between Disney and Netflix indicates that the streaming service industry is becoming a zero-sum game. Relationships between distributors are already evidently getting worse and it will probably morph into a battle for distribution rights. Disney’s acquisition policy is just the tip of the iceberg of how studios are looking to acquire rights to distribute movies and TV shows exclusively. Every studio seems like it has tied down some product and it’s only available legally if you are subscribed to their streaming service. If you are a fan of both Star Wars and Narcos, you need to have both Disney+ and Netflix subscriptions to watch both.

Loss of variety

Netflix has attempted to produce originals for their subscribers that one couldn’t watch anywhere else. They’ve spent around $13 Billion in 2018 only on original content. And for a while, each competitor was producing original content that was great. But as the industry grew, virtually every premium channel has its own paid subscription app.

As competitors increase, the world of entertainment is becoming more partitioned.

There is no all-in-one solution anymore, not even a most-in-one solution. Of course, there are a lot more choices now, but each choice is becoming more decentralized.

This will only worsen in the future. Each competitor will attempt to launch its own unique variety of shows and movies. No entertainment entity will have a wide choice of entertainment in one place. There has already been an increase in piracy which can be partially attributed to this cause. There might be many more adverse effects we will observe as the golden age of streaming comes to an end.

Not good news for users

More competitors may sound like lower prices, but there’s a bare minimum. Below this amount companies aren’t willing to produce, so costs won’t be lowered too much; at least if Disney+ and the rumored Apple TV models are any indication. The future is still uncertain. For now, all we can do is give a nervous welcome to the Punisher and Jessica Jones series continuations as they reach their second and third seasons respectively; and bid a confused farewell to Daredevil, where the journey began and apparently has started to end.


YouTube Music: Spotify has competition (finally)

It’s no surprise that Google knows where you go most days, where you eat, what kind of products you’re likely to purchase and more or less your entire online presence. They’re monetizing this knowledge of the consumers and trying to sell you a new type of product: YouTube Music.

Google announced on May 17th that they’re killing YouTube Red and turning it into a two level product system, the YouTube Music and the YouTube Premium platforms. The YouTube Music service is going to let users get seamless ad free music on YouTube, even when users switch apps or turn off the screen, for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99. Regular YouTube app users must keep their screen on at all times without switching to Facebook or other apps to continuously play music. YouTube Premium has all those features, but for everything, including music and YouTube Red Originals. This feature costs $11.99 for the user. This means if the user gets YouTube Premium, they also get the YouTube Music service, which seems like the entry point for YouTube Premium.

However, we’re here to discuss YouTube Music, and more importantly, what Spotify can expect for their market. For years now Spotify has had a monopoly of sorts in the mobile music player industry, rarely having any competition. As such their products and services have become a little lackluster. Just recently they had a scandal about removing R. Kelly from the official Spotify playlist, and there are women’s groups who are pressuring the platform to remove artists like Chris Brown and Red Hot Chili Peppers. They have also launched a new hate content and hateful conduct policy, which has been widely criticized for being anti-free speech. Their only competition for a long time, Apple Music, has been slowly stepping out of the spotlight and has yet to take advantage of this.

Yet, with the now YouTube Music label, Google is clearly making moves to take Spotify’s market share in the music app market. With a smart marketing scheme, a library of over 40 million songs and other tools at the disposal of the giant corporation that is Google, Spotify might get caught in a perfect storm.

YouTube Music has a long way to go before it even becomes Spotify’s chief competitor in that market. Yet, we’ve known from Google’s track record that they don’t take many false steps, and most of their endeavors have been successful. It would take a monumental effort from Spotify to stop Google from infringing on their market shares and keep the number one spot in the years to come. For now, they will enjoy being the best-selling music app on the Play Store and App store. Google on the other hand, has other issues. Its YouTube platform has been widely criticized for sudden demonetization and hypocritical ad laws, such as when they let a video of the Jimmy Kimmel show ads for their video on a US school shooting incident, even though that’s against YouTube’s own policies. This kind of behavior and double standards against content creators has seen many get bitter and outright leaving the platform to go to Twitch.com. The battle for musical supremacy is more even than you’d think at first glance, and if not careful, either one of these labels could go down as just another footnote in the history of the other.

From DVD rental to household name – A Netflix story

Netflix has had quite a journey since it’s inception in 1997. Starting out as a DVD rental service by Mark Randolph and Reed Hastings back in 1998, offering a hassle-free rental service without due dates, late fees or shipping fees. The mass popularity of Netflix might be quite recent, but Netflix was already a known name in the home video sales and rental industry by 2000 as it was offered to be bought out by Blockbuster for 50 million USD. In 2002, Netflix initiated an IPO selling and by 2003, Netflix posted its first profit during fiscal year 2003.

By 2005, Netflix already had a whopping 35,000 movie titles and shipped out a million DVDs everyday.

Moving into the internet

At the peak of its popularity, YouTube was just getting popular. And Netflix saw its potential in the content streaming market. Initially planning to offer a hardware called the “Netflix Box”, plans were scrapped after witnessing the demand for video streaming despite the bandwidth constraints for streaming a movie.

The project of implementing a streaming service was completed by 2007 and it was smooth sailing from there. Within five years, Netflix added a total 27 million US streaming customers to its streaming service. By September 2014, Netflix moved out to 40 countries across the world and finally realized that the company needed to re-brand itself yet again in an ever-changing world.

The journey didn’t stop there, as Netflix announced its plan to expand into 150 countries. On April 2017, Netflix reached 100 million subscribers partnered with a Baidu-owned streaming service, starting its much awaited venture within China.

Finally, in 2018, the company crossed 100 million USD in market capitalization, becoming the largest media and entertainment company in the world, with the exception of Comcast and Disney. And a few days ago, Netflix announced its plans to release 80 original movies in 2018.

Taking on entertainment Goliaths

Why and how did Netflix turn into one of the biggest media and entertainment company within twenty years against companies as old as a century?

Ability to look forward into the future of the entertainment industry played a pivotal role in the growth of the streaming service. Netflix could’ve just retired as a DVD rental company, but its no secret that at the peak of its DVD rental service growth, Netflix recognized and implemented proper plans for its future. Being stuck in the past is a common reason for prominent companies slowly fading away.

Netflix also completed several deals with known production houses for hosting their content. After gaining a solid subscriber base, Netflix decided to open its own production house, striking up a deal with the most profitable superhero film production house, Marvel – producing several brilliant TV shows under its banner.

Cult status

Expanding a company is no easy task, and Netflix has waited quite a long for the market conditions to be favourable. From 1997 to 2018, it has been a long journey for Netflix. With several buyout offers and change in administration, the company didn’t flinch until it reached cult status. Be it through the “Netflix and Chill” memes or the convenience of the service reaching the affordability for the first world middle class, it can be called a role model for reaching sustainable success. Netflix has recently decided to invest 8 billion USD for producing over 700 shows in 2018. From your friendly DVD shop to revolutionizing the international media industry, it has been quite a journey as they rose to the top while facing continued aggression from Asian competitors.

Lessons in Business

Marvel, Netflix and the future of streaming

Using resources from others is definitely a great way to start out your business, but a successful entrepreneur has to know when to produce one’s own resources in order for the business to grow.

Without any doubt, Netflix is a successful startup; a company with a brilliant concept that is bound to be successful in a market full of competitors. Through word of mouth and sneaky marketing, Netflix has slowly taken the place of Blockbuster in the era of internet. Recognizing a changing business landscape for its industry is something Netflix definitely got right as evidenced in its evolution thus far.

Using resources from others is definitely a great way to start out your business, but a successful entrepreneur has to know when to produce one’s own resources in order for the business to grow. 

The next big step was implementing Netflix Originals. Netflix understood that copyright and distribution issues made their content unavailable in some regions and there was no way around it. As a result, Netflix started producing their own content and currently it has expanded into a multi-billion dollar segment.

Even half a decade ago, a mere fraction of the internet was aware of Netflix. Today, through smart move after move, Netflix has become the most relevant media player in its industry. Certainly, this story has been a fairy-tale for a startup with one feet in the grave to being a titan of the entertainment industry.