Category Archives: Streaming Video

Streaming Video News: November 19, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s premier of the Hindi thriller Dhamaka, starring Kartik Aaryan. The latest Little Singham movie — Samundar Ka Sikandar — also dropped on Netflix today. These could be the last two Indian flicks added to Netflix for the rest of November, with Cobalt Blue not scheduled to arrive until December 3.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu with yesterday’s trio of new additions: Adbhutham (Telugu), Cash (Hindi), and Pon Manickavel (Tamil). Hulu has been importing older Hotstar content in other languages, and I’ll work on incorporating those titles into the page over the next couple of weeks.

In a surprise announcement yesterday, Disney (parent company of Hulu and Hotstar) announced that Hotstar will officially cease operation in the United States on November 30, 2021. This is a huge acceleration from the “late 2022” date that was originally announced back when Hotstar’s content was split between Hulu and ESPN+ back in September. By now, all Hotstar subscribers should have received an email offer — and several reminder emails — to upgrade to the Disney Bundle in order to maintain access to Hotstar’s content. I’m guessing this pre-ponement means that enough Hotstar subscribers have made the switch that Disney feels comfortable forcing the remaining holdouts to do so as well.

Finally, I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a few additions in an otherwise quiet week. Next week will be busier, with the debuts of the Telugu sequel Drushyam 2 on November 25 and the Hindi horror film Chhorii on the 26th.

Streaming Video News: November 5, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s premier of the new Hindi romcom Meenakshi Sundareshwar and the addition of the Tamil film Doctor, which is also available in Kannada, Malayalam, and Telugu. The 2021 Tamil movie Mughizh lands on Netflix November 6.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu with this week’s addition of the Telugu film Gully Rowdy and the Tamil flick MGR Magan (also available in Kannada, Malayalam, and Telugu).

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime as well, with the debuts of the new Hindi series Akkad Bakkad Rafu Chakkar (also in 4K UHD) and the courtroom drama Jai Bhim, which is available in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada & Malayalam.

Although Mumbai theaters have officially been open for a couple of weeks, Bollywood’s return to cinemas starts today with the release of Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi. So when can we expect it and other theatrical releases to make their way to streaming services? While the theatrical exclusivity window used to be eight weeks, reports have many upcoming titles coming to streaming after just four weeks — an acknowledgement that a large portion of the audience is still uncomfortable attending showings in theaters. That would see Sooryavanshi coming to Netflix in early December. I list movies’ streaming partners on my Upcoming Bollywood Releases page, so check it to see where films are heading after their theatrical runs wind down.

Happy Diwali! — Kathy

[Disclaimer: my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: October 29, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the debut of Emraan Hashmi’s latest horror movie Dybbuk (also available in 4K UHD), a remake of the Malayalam movie Ezra. Other recent Amazon Prime debuts include Erida (Malayalam) and the Tamil movies Cinderella and Kodiyil Oruvan.

Bollywood Hungama reports that Amazon acquired the rights to stream four upcoming movies from Yash Raj Films — Bunty aur Babli 2, Prithviraj, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, and Shamshera — on Prime four weeks after their theatrical release.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s premier of the Hindi series Call My Agent Bollywood, the Indian version of the French series Call My Agent!.

We’re still waiting for Hulu to post the new Kriti Sanon-Rajkummar Rao Hum Do Hamare Do, which debuted on Disney+ Hotstar in India earlier today. I’m not sure why Hulu insists on delaying its Hotstar premiers until evening in the US, but it is what it is. [Update: Hum Do Hamare Do is now available.]

While updating my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu with some newly added TV series, I timed how long it takes to scroll to the bottom of Hulu’s complete A-Z list of Hotstar content. Because it only loads 15 titles at a time, scrolling all the way to the last title on the list took a full 1 minute and 24 seconds! You can get to the bottom of my Hulu list in 5 seconds. Just sayin’.

Happy Halloween! — Kathy

[Disclaimer: my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: September 24, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s premiere of Season 2 of Kota Factory. On Wednesday, Netflix debuted its Original Kannada docu-series Crime Patrol: Indian Detectives, which has dubbed audio options in English and Hindi. Other additions from earlier in the week include the late-’90s Tamil films Avvai Shanmughi, Jeans, and Minsara Kanavu.

Nineteen Punjabi movies expire from Netflix on October 1. That’s half of Netflix’s current Punjabi-language catalog. For the full list of all of the Indian titles expiring in October, check out the “Expiring Soon” section near the top of my Netflix page.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with yesterday’s debut of the Tamil film Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum.

Today, Amazon announced its festive season lineup of big Indian (and English) titles releasing over the next couple of months. Sardar Udham (Hindi) and Udan Pirappe (Tamil) are set to debut in October, with Jai Bhim (Tamil) coming in November. Release dates for the rest of the titles — including the Malayalam movie Bhramam, Season 2 of One Mic Stand, and Dybbuk, the Hindi remake of the Malayalam film Ezra — have yet to be announced.[Disclaimer: my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: September 17, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s addition of the Netflix Original film Ankahi Kahaniya, an anthology of three shorts directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Abhishek Chaubey, and Saket Chaudhury. This week also saw the return of the series Dharmakshetra, Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyan, and Stories by Rabindranath Tagore.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime because Akshay Kumar’s August theatrical release BellBottom is now available for streaming.

Finally, I finished adding all of the Hotstar content currently available on Hulu in all languages to my new list of Bollywood movies on Hulu. For now, the only sizable movie catalogs are in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, with the Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, and Marathi catalogs consisting almost entirely of “Hotstar Specials” releases. It’s worth noting that dozens of the movies listed as currently streaming in the United States on this list from Hotstar aren’t actually available. We’ll see if they’re added over time.

Today’s new additions to Hulu/Hotstar are the new Telugu movie Maestro and the Tamil film Annabelle Sethupathi, which is also available in dubbed versions in Kannada, Telugu, and Hindi (under the title Annabelle Rathore).

[Disclaimer: my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

New Indian Movies on Hulu Page

I created a new page listing all of the Indian movies and Hotstar Specials on Hulu. Actually, I just resurrected my old Bollywood Movies on Hulu page from 2016, when Hulu jettisoned all of its Indian content. The revived page now has all of the content that Hulu recently acquired from Hotstar. You can find links to the new page at the top of the site and in the right sidebar.

For right now, it’s just the Hindi films and Hotstar Specials (“Hotstar Specials” being their term for original movies and TV series). But I’ll add links to content in other languages over the course of time.

You’ve probably noticed, Hulu’s site is annoying to navigate and takes forever to load. Well, I have to tell you — I don’t have any special means of getting the information from Hulu. No scripts or web scrapers to grab content. It’s just me copying and pasting links and titles over and over for hours at a time — all in an effort to make it quicker and easier for fans to see what Indian movies are available on Hulu.

If you appreciate my efforts, please consider sending me a donation via PayPal. If your company or organization would like to sponsor this Hulu page or another page at Access Bollywood, please email me at accessbolly at gmail dot com.

Thanks! I hope you find this new page useful! — Kathy

Hotstar Content Moves to Hulu and ESPN+ in US

Hotstar’s days as a standalone streaming service are numbered in the United States. Disney — who owns Hotstar — announced Tuesday, September 1 that Hotstar’s content would be incorporated into its other streaming services before shutting down for good late in 2022. Hulu will carry Hotstar’s movies and TV series, while ESPN+ will take over Hotstar’s sports programming.

The content shift is already underway. @parikhm on Twitter sent me this screenshot from Hulu on Wednesday, with a panel advertising Hotstar content under the “Hubs” link at the top of the page.

We got even more information today via an email sent to Hotstar subscribers. In addition to sending each subscriber an offer code to upgrade to the Disney bundle (more on that in a bit), the email linked to a page listing all of the movies in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu that are already available on Hulu — find them under the “A-Z” category at the bottom of this page — as well as those films that are “coming soon.” (There are specific pages for TV shows, sports tournaments, and Hotstar Specials as well.) While most movies will make the journey to Hulu, not all will. Notable titles absent from the list include Highway, Junglee, and my beloved Creature 3D.

The movies and shows that have already moved to Hulu are no longer available on Hotstar. Clicking on Bhuj: The Pride of India‘s Hotstar link returns a 404 error. I assume this means that Bhoot Police will release on Hulu and not Hotstar on September 17. When the Indian Premier League cricket season resumes on September 19, ESPN+ will carry the games, not Hotstar.

Considering that Hotstar subscribers would need both Hulu and ESPN+ to access all (well, most) of the content previously available on Hotstar, today’s email includes an offer code allowing users to access the Disney bundle — which includes ad-supported Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+ — for the remainder of their Hotstar subscription. Getting access to all of the other Hulu and ESPN+ content plus Disney+ is a nice bonus, especially if your Hotstar subscription renewed recently. A year’s subscription to Hotstar costs $49.99, while a year’s worth of the $13.99/month Disney bundle will set you back $167.88 in total.

There’s the rub. Splitting Hotstar’s content between Hulu and ESPN+ is ultimately going to cost customers a lot more: 3x as much for the lower-tier Disney Bundle, and almost 5x as much if you want the $19.99/month Disney bundle that includes the ad-free version of Hulu ($239.88 annually).

The forced price increase is unfortunate, but par for the course for Disney in recent weeks. From charging visitors to Disney theme parks to skip the standby line at attractions (a formerly free perk) to jacking up the prices of annual passes while stripping benefits, Disney is doing all it can to squeeze every penny out of its customers.

So what are the alternatives? If you only subscribed to Hotstar for the movies and shows, a standalone Hulu subscription with ads costs $5.99/month or $59.99/year, or $11.99/month without ads ($143.88 total for one year, with no annual subscription option). [Update: on October 8, 2021, the price of ad-supported Hulu will increase to $6.99/month or $69.99/year, and ad-free Hulu increases to $12.99/month.] If you’re only interested in cricket, ESPN+ costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year. You’re still going to pay more that you have been with Hotstar, unfortunately. If you wanted to recreate Hotstar by getting annual subscriptions to both EPSN+ and (ad-supported) Hulu, it’ll run you $129.98 — almost $40 cheaper than the Disney Bundle.

For now, this merger only applies to the US. Canada doesn’t even have access to Hulu, so Hotstar lives on north of the border for the time being. In the meantime, I’m gonna rewatch Creature 3D for the millionth time while I still can.

Streaming Video News: August 27, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s additions of the 2021 Telugu movie Thimmarusu and the first season of the Hindi series Kota Factory (a series Netflix acquired in order to produce a second season). Other new additions include a bunch of returning titles from Balaji Motion Pictures, which had expired from Netflix on November 15, 2020:

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with dozens of Indian titles added in the last week — mostly Tamil films released from 2016-2020. Prime also debuted a new Tamil comedy competition series LOL: Enga Siri Paappom, in which comics are challenged not to laugh at each other’s ridiculous antics.

Today, Hotstar launched the new 8-episode historical series The Empire, starring Kunal Kapoor:

[Disclaimer: my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: July 29, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the early addition of Kriti Sanon’s film Mimi, which was supposed to make its global debut tomorrow. When a copy of the movie leaked online earlier this week, Netflix made it available for streaming immediately. According to Bollywood Hungama, the snafu has made Netflix reevaluate their deal with Mimi‘s producers, Maddock Films and Jio Studios.

Netflix also dropped the trailer for their new Indian Original sketch comedy competition Comedy Premium League, episodes of which debut on August 20. The show format sounds a lot like South Korea’s Comedy Big League, which also features teams of comedians competing for audience votes. One recurring segment on CBL is “Psychorus,” in which a pair of ridiculously dressed comics say nonsensical things to try and mess up a singers while they perform. Here’s Psychorus screwing with Taemin from Shinee as he sings his hit “Move“:

Hotstar also dropped a video this week announcing its slate of upcoming movies and shows, headlined by Ajay Devgn’s war drama Bhuj: The Pride of India (debuting August 13) and Saif Ali Khan’s supernatural comedy Bhoot Police (coming September 17). Variety has descriptions of all of the titles in the lineup, which includes a few returning series. Here’s Hotstar’s promo video:

Streaming Video News: July 27, 2021

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with some pretty major changes. Over the last several months, lots of Indian movies’ streaming contracts with Amazon have expired and not been renewed, meaning they are no longer available to watch for free with a Prime membership. Many of the titles are still available for rent, but loads are just gone from Amazon in the US entirely.

And when I say lots of contracts expired, I mean LOTS. Approximately 75% of the Indian titles available on Prime earlier this year are gone. At its largest, Prime’s catalog included about 3,600 Indian movies and comedy specials. My Amazon Prime page got so big that it routinely crashed my WordPress editor. After spending the last few months pulling expired content from my Prime page, I’ve found that the catalog is down to just under 1,000 Indian movies (plus about 55 TV shows).

The caveat here is that Amazon’s catalog is such a pain to navigate that I am undoubtedly missing some titles. (If it was any less annoying, I wouldn’t need to maintain my list in the first place.) But it’s clear that Amazon Prime’s Indian collection no longer dwarfs Netflix’s Indian catalog by the massive margin that it used to. Netflix has around 675 Indian movies and comedy specials at present, plus 44 TV shows/anthology series (excluding content for kids, which I list on my Netflix page but not my Prime page).

I should also note that, because Amazon is a lot less diligent about catalog maintenance than Netflix, there are a lot of duplicate entries. I found 80 titles listed more than once, plus another 30 titles in my list are separate 4K UHD versions of pre-exisiting entries. So Amazon’s Prime Indian catalog is really more like 870 titles.

Anyway, culling the expired entries from my Amazon page was a long, long, long project that should result in a more easily navigable and accurate list. I’m happy with the results, but boy am I glad to be done! — Kathy