While the majority of Pakistanis still enjoy the traditional television set-up, the landing of Netflix to this part of the world has threatened the popular medium that once ruled the heart of millions. To be fair, cassettes and CDs of music albums do bring in a nostalgic mood to Pakistanis growing up in the 80s, 90s or the early 2000s but deep down they are aware that the age of cassettes and CDs has been replaced by music streaming platforms like Patari, Taazi and BestSongsPk.
Similarly, television too will be soon replaced by streaming platforms and Pakistani television giants would have to look at to launch their own streaming platforms to compete with streaming trend-setter Netflix. It has recently started in the US with companies like CBS, Disney and DC launching their own platforms to compete with streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. The latter isn’t available in Pakistan yet.
While we are already aware of Netflix being popular with Pakistan’s internet generation, there are some other platforms which many people in the country despite their availability here might be unaware of.
The following is a list of streaming platforms available in Pakistan:
1- ) Netflix
Netflix like in many other parts of the platform did start the streaming culture here as well which is slowly gaining popularity. Prior to its launch in Pakistan in 2016, many people were already aware of what Netflix was thanks to the popularity of American television shows and movies in which many popular culture references are common.
Netflix in Pakistan offers a really good selection of television shows, films from the United States, Pakistan, and India among other countries but what makes it stand out is probably the quality of its originals which has become a unique selling point (USP) of the streaming giant.
There are many offerings on the streaming platform such as Stranger Things, Narcos, Daredevil, Ozark, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt etc and its good if you want to watch a series in one go as Netflix is known for the trend of binge-watching as it releases a full season of its original programming instead of one episode weekly or daily.
2- ) Iflix
After seeing the promising response to Netflix, it didn’t take Malaysian streaming platform. While Netflix offers only a one-month free plan, Iflix is divided into two categories; one is Iflix free which from the name is pretty obvious and the other is Iflix VIP for which one has to pay a certain amount.
Iflix along with content similar to Netflix offers Korean content and also hosts certain television channels on its platform which some are offered for free and for some you have to pay. But what makes Iflix interesting is original content from Pakistan that one wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. Examples include Ghareeb Aur Badtameez, The Laughing Stock and The Survivor.
3- ) Amazon Prime Video
While the online retail giant may not offer all of its services in Pakistan, people here can still enjoy the streaming benefits of Amazon Prime Video.
Similar to Netflix, Amazon offers a range of US and Indian television shows and movies. While it has yet to offer Pakistani content either borrowed or original however what makes it stand out is its original offerings such as The Man in the High Castle, The Tick and Sneaky Pete amongst others.
Another plus point is that people who subscribe to the streaming service get free access to Twitch, a streaming video platform dedicated to gaming which also offers access to certain free games and other exclusive (although it has limited availability in Pakistan)
4- ) Starz Play
The recent addition to the list of streaming services in the country seems promising. While most of the content it offers is similar to what’s found on Netflix including U.S, Pakistani and Indian television shows, it offers exclusive original content from the Starz library, which is a popular television channel in the U.S while Starz Play is a streaming service available in the Middle East, North Africa and now Pakistan.
Subscribers can enjoy popular television shows such as Spartacus, The White Queen, Black Sails and Power on the platform.
5- ) Facebook Watch
After failing to acquire Snapchat, the social-networking giant just copied the idea and made the stories option available on all of its platforms namely Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp.
Being launched in 2017, it’s a recent addition to the list of streaming services. It has limited content but it’s good if you are looking for something new to watch and you don’t have to go to another website because you can just use the service directly in Facebook. The best part about Facebook Watch is that it is free.