Thank you, Netflix. You’ve ruined Hotstar for me.

Hotstar would’ve been perfectly fine for me — if not for Netflix.

User Experience is something I never experienced .

To me, computer applications are something that I worked on. I have to actually put in the effort to make the application do something. I don’t expect the application to know what I want.

I am used to downloading the latest movies on torrent websites and playing minesweeper on the download page. Until Netflix came along, I was a pirate on the internet searching popular torrent websites for “top movie collection 1080p” and spending 20 minutes to just hit the right download button.

Once Netflix came along, things changed.

For the first time, I didn’t have to work. I could simply watch.

Netflix didn’t make me search for what to watch next, it almost always suggests the right things to watch.

Netflix didn’t force me to remember where I stopped watching the last time. “Continue Watching”, it said. I can start watching on my phone and continue on my TV seamlessly.

Netflix shrunk my video content library. It wasn’t the world wide web of pirated videos anymore. It was only what was available on Netflix.

Netflix has successfully ended piracy in my life. The government couldn’t do it, Netflix did.

Why Hotstar now? How did Netflix ruin it?

For those of you who don’t know, Hotstar is an Indian video streaming application.

I subscribed to Hotstar because I wanted to stream IPL. I noticed Silicon Valley on the list and was excited. I began using Hotstar.

Netflix has ruined video streaming applications for me. I expected the same level of User Experience but I should’ve known better.

Hotstar couldn’t recognize me. It couldn’t figure out what I enjoyed watching. It couldn’t even remember what I was watching previously. To top it all up, Hotstar crashes— something that simply doesn’t exist in the Netflix world.

On Netflix, if I wanted to watch something I could simply watch it.

On Hotstar, I had to search (the search algorithm sucks btw) for what I want, navigate to the right episode (it doesn’t remember which one I saw last), click on play and hope it works.

On Netflix, if I wanted to watch something I could simply watch it.

I’ll sum it up subtly without hurting anyone’s feelings— Netflix is something I can watch. Hotstar is something I have to use. What if Netflix didn’t exist? I would’ve loved Hotstar. If there was no Netflix, this blog would probably be about why Hotstar is the best thing to have to happen to me. Hotstar does have some AMAZING content!

But, Netflix exists. Netflix has raised the bar, nay, set the bar on User Experience for video streaming applications. I’m surprised that Hotstar couldn’t get inspiration from there.

I cannot use Hotstar now. My mind simply cannot go back to the old ways. Just like how I cannot imagine downloading movies from a torrent website, I cannot imagine struggling with an app to watch my favorite episode.

I want to simply watch what I want to watch. Like Netflix.

Hotstar would’ve been perfectly fine for me — if not for Netflix.

So thank you Netflix, you’ve ruined Hotstar for me. I’m unsubscribing.

P.S I tried to reply to their unsubscribe email to ask for a refund for my remaining subscription time. This is what I was greeted with.

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