Entrepreneur

Singapore's HOOQ Sets Its Sights On Beating Netflix With Premium Asian Content And Offline Viewing

Move aside Netflix, Singapore’s own video-on-demand service HOOQ is coming back home.

Asia’s first and largest platform, HOOQ started up in January 2015 as a collaboration between Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros.

As a “gateway to a world of unlimited entertainment”, the company seeks to bring viewers online access to top Hollywood, Asian and kids movies as well as TV series on any of their devices and at anytime.

Previously, content was only available in other Asian countries like Philippines and Thailand but as of today, their videos would also made available to Singaporeans.

What You Get For $8.98 / Month

Imager Credit: HOOQ
Imager Credit: HOOQ

HOOQ’s carries over 20,000 titles to choose from, with the largest selection of top local and Hollywood hits. Users wouldn’t have to worry about buffering issues, as content are available for download with a maximum of 5 devices able to be HOOQ’d up to a single account.

Their award-winning catalogues includes top-grossing films from Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney and much more.

Subscribers will also have at their fingertips, the latest TV series such as Supergirl, Lucifer and Mad Dogs exclusively on this platform, along with fan favourites like Scandal and Friends.

Ah, just in time for the grand opening of Central Perk SG.

But perhaps the best thing about HOOQ is their hybrid premium services.

Subscribers get to watch ad-free but non-subscribers will also get to experience the premium service for free. And after their trial period is over, they will still be able to watch pilot episodes of hit series like Once Upon a Time and The Mentalist for free.

Singtel Subscribers Rejoice

Image Credit: Hooq
Image Credit: Hooq

HOOQ have partnered up with Singtel to get all their subscribers in on the loop.

“We are delighted to welcome HOOQ to Singapore. Singtel is always keen to expand our content offerings to enhance our customers’ entertainment experience. They will be pleased with HOOQ’s vast selection of Hollywood hits, as well as, ethnic movies and TV dramas,” stated Mr. Goh Seow Eng, Managing Director of Home, Consumer Singapore, Singtel.

Bundled package will be available to prepaid customers first. Anyone who purchases a prepaid plan can enjoy access to over 15,000 Indian, Indonesian and Filipino films and TV series. You can find more details available on their site

Postpaid, broadband and TV customers will not be forgotten. Subscribers can look forward to exclusive HOOQ deals on Singtel’s video portal, Cast, in the first few months of 2017.

Image Credit: Techinasia
Image Credit: Techinasia

Mobile-First User Experience

As 80% of their customers stream HOOQ on their mobile devices, the company has rolled out a new app interface for a faster and higher quality viewing experience.

Designed with the habits of smart device users in mind, HOOQ on mobile will not be limited to iOS and Android. Singaporeans will also be able to watch videos on Airplay and the mobile web.

Image Credit: HOOQ Android app
Image Credit: HOOQ Android app
Image Credit: HOOQ Android app
Image Credit: HOOQ Android app

HOOQ Vs Netflix

Image Credits: Twitter, Chrome Web Store
Image Credits: Twitter, Chrome Web Store

Singaporeans welcomed the arrival of Netflix just this year in January and with the return of homegrown brand HOOQ, are locals about to see these two media brands go head to head?

Back in January, HOOQ’s CEO Peter Bithos openly welcomed Netflix into Singapore, stating that “[they were] happy that Netflix [was] now seeing the same opportunity [they had] seen“, and encouraged Netflix to pave the way for the young OTT (over-the-top) category here.

This was back when HOOQ had yet enter the video-on-demand industry in Singapore. But what about now? Let’s take a look at how HOOQ fares against Netflix on some key factors.

Price

Netflix has three price categories – $10.98, $13.98 and $16.98 per month, from basic to premium packages. In contrast, HOOQ only has a single flat rate of $8.98, and that includes everything the company has to offer.

The premium Netflix membership also allows a maximum of 4 screens to stream content, but HOOQ is upping the ante with 5.

Offline Viewing

Probably one of the top frustrations Netflix users have with the video platform, as it severely limits the amount of time they can spend watching videos to only when they have WiFi.

HOOQ however offers downloading of their content, which already makes it a lot more attractive to viewers on-the-go.

Content

Netflix has a strong inventory of American TV series, movies, and even their own comedy series “Orange Is The New Black”. They also carry uncensored versions of films like Pulp Fiction and A Clockwork Orange. HOOQ carries a strong variety of films as well. However, they are a step above Netflix with a stronger base of Asian content that may appeal more to the local audience.

Based on the top three criteria, it seem like HOOQ has Netflix beat. But considering that Netflix has a more established fanbase in Singapore, HOOQ might have its work cut out for it.

Starting with Singtel subscribers, HOOQ is getting ready to penetrate the local market here and if all goes well, hopefully they might start branching to other telcos too.

Featured Image Credit: LinkedIn

 

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