Hooq, a joint start-up venture between Singaporean telecom giant Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros, is all set to launch its premium video-on-demand service in India on the lines of Netflix in the west.
Starting next month at a monthly subscription of Rs 199, Hooq would offer over 15,000 international and local titles in its catalogue to millions of users in India.
Hooq CEO Peter Bithos said.
We will bring the best of Hollywood and regional content to customers in the country. With a library of 15,000 titles already, we are in discussions with various partners for collaborations for content and delivery (including telecom operators and device makers.
The titles include the popular shows and movies by Sony, Warner Bros, Disney, Dreamworks, and Miramax like Harry Potter, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Pulp Fiction, and TV series like Nikita, The Shield, Friends, Lost and Grey s Anatomy. In addition to these, the platform will also offer regional content from India, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea and Japan.
The growing popularity of smart phones as the most common entertainment option among youth of country and the sheer number of consumers makes India a huge potential market for Hooq which would offer its content for 5 devices including mobile phones and tablets, via an app and mobile web, desktop computers and Android set-top boxes.
India already has about 130 million pay TV users. We are targeting millions more. Users will pay for premium content if it is made available as per their convenience. For Rs 199, they get access to unlimited content across five devices and two devices can be used simultaneously.
Bithos said while talking about their aims to provide high quality content to consumers on the go who would otherwise take to internet to download content illegally which is unreliable and fret with viruses.
Hooq has plans to invest $10 million (₹63.6 crore) to grow in the Indian market and has particularly designed its services to suit the Indian conditions.
We’ve built our service knowing the constraints and infrastructure issues faced by customers every day. We have designed our service specifically for challenges in India like low bandwidth and speeds to ensure that users can enjoy uninterrupted viewing experience,
Hooq has got the early bird advantage over its global rival Netflix in the Indian market and is looking forward to establish a strong foothold in India by partnering with studios like YRF, UTV Disney, Rajshri, Reliance, Shemaroo, Sri Balaji, AP International and Whacked Out Media in India.
Talking about these partnership, Krishnan Rajagoplan, Hooq India head said,
We have already roped in about 60 Indian partners and 100 international ones
Hooq currently operates in the Philippines and Thailand with over 160 million users and will be formally launched in India in June starting with the metros and would gradually expand to tier I and II towns.