We’ve got the lowdown on how to (legally) watch movies online for free.
The streaming market has exploded in India in the last few years. There’s now plenty of choices when it comes to watching movies online, with some sites allowing users free access or offering generous free trials.
From the looks of it, movie enthusiasts are embracing these special promotions, taking full advantage of free trials and uninstalling the apps from their smartphones once they no longer find them useful. It makes sense – there are so many services only a few clicks away, so it’s a good idea to try them all in order to decide which one suits you best.
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With Bollywood releasing tons of content each year, piracy remains a huge issue in India. However, while relying on torrents may seem like an easy way to get your entertainment fix, downloading content illegally can attract penalties or make you susceptible to malware attacks. It’s best to redirect your attention towards the (many) other ways you can enjoy watching movies for free.
We’ve gathered the most popular movie streaming platforms below – they all offer free access (with ads) or come with lengthy free trials which will enable you to get a taste for whether or not you would enjoy a paying subscription. Plus, they are accessible both via web and mobile app, so you can catch up on your movie queue any time.
India’s most popular streaming platform offers a mix of free and premium content, with the free tier more than worth your while. While some movies are only available to users with a Premium subscription, there are plenty of titles you can stream completely free, from dramas to thrillers to biopics to kids’ flicks. The service also offers TV shows and sport live streaming, for a complete entertainment experience, so it’s hard to run out of content to watch, even with a free account.
That being said, a Hotstar Premium subscription comes with access to English TV shows and movies as well as the latest Hindi and regional releases. If you’re serious about keeping up with the world of cinema, INR199/month shouldn’t break the bank. The Premium subscription comes with a seven-day free trial. Hotstar will charge the full amount from your card but will offer a refund if you cancel before your free Premium week is up.
Netflix may be ruling the streaming market on a global level, but the service isn’t faring particularly well in India. Its cheapest subscription plan costs INR500/month, which is considerably more expensive than the competition. Still, the platform invests heavily in original content and has a vast catalogue of movies available in India, so it might be worth a try. Roma, after all, brought Netflix its first Oscar nomination for Best Picture, so the future is looking bright. Netflix India is free to try for an entire month.
Amazon Prime Video
Access to Prime Video is free with an Amazon Prime subscription, priced at INR129/month or INR999/year. You get a one-month free trial, so you can peruse Prime Video’s generous catalogue of content – which includes popular regional movies and Hollywood blockbusters alike. Moreover, Amazon Prime brings you free, fast delivery on eligible items and additional perks like ad-free music streaming. If you shop online a lot, getting access to an entire library of movies and TV shows as a bonus makes a Prime subscription worth the investment.
JioCinema brings you tons of movies across all genres, including content from Disney India – which means you can stream as many Marvel blockbusters and Disney classics as you can handle. Even better, JioCinema is completely free to use – the only catch is that it’s only available to Jio customers. You will be required to sign in with your Jio credentials (phone number or Jio ID) to be able to stream content. Still, if you already have Jio, getting access to hundreds of movies available for free is a nice perk.
HOOQ advertises as “your gateway to a world of unlimited entertainment”, and its catalogue backs up the claim. The service, which comes with a one-month free trial, lets you stream a wide variety of both movies and TV series, including Hollywood hits. Once your free trial is over, a HOOQ subscription will set you back INR89/month. The platform also enables you to rent the most recent releases fresh from the cinema, generally for INR59 each.
Voot is a completely free on-demand streaming service, which offers movies in several languages (Hindi, Kannada, Bengali and more), with a special category for kids. You can also stream TV shows, music videos or various clips, so you’ll never run out of content to watch with this one. You can register an account to keep better track of what you’re watching, but that’s completely up to you. The only downside is that you will have to endure ads, but it’s a small price to pay to gain access to such a big library of content for free.
Similar to other platforms on the list, Sony Liv hosts a mix of free and premium content, but plenty of movies are available to stream at no cost. However, if you’re looking for a Hollywood release, you’ll have to get a Premium subscription, which costs INR99/month. You can browse the platform and watch without creating an account, but registering with the service unlocks additional features like adding a video you’re interested in to “Watch later”.
BigFlix comes with a one-month free trial, which is more than enough time to marathon some of the titles in the platform’s catalogue. Movies are available in several languages, which is a huge plus. You can create a free account, but that only enables you to check out trailers. If you sign up for a Premium subscription, you get an entire month free and you can cancel at any time. After that, if you decide to keep the service, you’ll pay INR50/month or INR500/year.
Zee5 offers a wide variety of content, from movies to TV shows, original productions and news. A lot of it is free (with ads), so you can stream movies without paying anything (you don’t even have to register for an account). If you’re interested in some of the platform’s Premium offerings, you will have to pay INR99/month.
Spuul offers over 10,000 hours of Bollywood movies, and some of them are available completely free. Content for users without an account is limited, but it should help you decide if a Spuul subscription, priced at INR 99/month, is worth the investment. To get started, all you need to do is navigate to “Browse”, then click on “Free movies”. You will have to login via Facebook or create an account by signing up with your email to watch.
With Viu, you get access to a limited amount of free content, including a generous number of movies. You can stream them without creating an account and the interface is user-friendly, so it’s easy to see what’s on offer and settle on a title. If you want a Premium subscription, it costs INR99/two months.
Tubi TV enables you to watch free movies and TV shows without a subscription, no strings attached. You can browse through several categories, including Family Movies, Romance, Horror and more. The service is completely free of charge – you don’t even have to register for an account if you don’t feel like it. TV shows are also available on the platform.
MUBI prides itself on offering truly great cinema, which translates to cult, classic, independent and award-winning films from all over the world. A subscription costs INR500/month and buys you access to 30 movies, a new one added every day. You get a seven-day free trial, so you have a week to watch some flicks and decide if they’re up your alley.
Although mainly a music streaming service, Hungama also offers movies and TV shows at the moment, so you can enjoy a variety of content, a lot of it free. Simply browse the movie section, settle on a free title and you’re good to go. Alternatively, you can purchase a subscription, which comes with unlimited access to the platform’s catalogue. Movies & TV Shows costs INR99/month, while Entertainment Unlimited costs INR149/month (includes music downloads and more). Hungama also allows you to pay for your subscription with Hungama coins, which can be earned by spending time on the platform (registering for an account, playing a song and so on).
Hoichoi offers an impressive collection of Bengali movies, but most of them are only available if you get a subscription. However, a small selection of titles are available for free – simply browse the Movies category until you find the section “Free Movies”. If you’re enjoying the service, a subscription costs INR399/year.
Muvizz specialises in cult, classic and independent films. Some titles are available for free, while others require a subscription, priced at INR80/month. You can browse the platform’s library to see what’s available and decide if the Premium titles are worth your cash.
While YouTube mainly specialises is short(er) videos and original content created by the community, if you’re patient enough you can stumble upon movies as well. Some are available on YouTube legally, others… not so much. It can also be difficult to spot fakes and such; plus, there’s nothing more annoying than realising that you don’t have access to the entire movie after you start watching. We would be remiss not to include YouTube, but we strongly recommend you give the other platforms on the list a chance as well.
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