HOOQ,the beta version of collaborated video streaming venture between Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros Entertainment, is to be launched in India tomorrow. The services would be formally rolled out next month.
After Thailand and the Phillipines, India will be the third market for HOOQ. The streaming subscription would be available for Rs 199 per month.
According to the claims made by the company, 10,000 Indian film and TV titles from more than 50 studios including YRF, UTV Disney, Rajshri, Reliance, Shemaroo, Sri Balaji AP International and Whacked Out Media among others shall be offered. Also, 5,000 Hollywood movie titles and television shows from studios like Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Disney, Dreamworks and Miramax would be available.
Features like Adaptive streaming, bandwidth indicator and offline play are to be included. Further, as per the company, consumers can access ad-free content and use HOOQ on up to five different devices at a time.
Peter Bithos, CEO HOOQ, gave a hint that the service would be supported by Chromecast, similar to that of Spuul and Eros Now, reports ET.
Given that HOOQ is partly owned by big global production studios, it could possibly have an advantage over its competitors in terms of content catalogue, especially International content which tends to carry a higher licensing fee as compared to Hindi or regional content. This could be HOOQ’s drawcard along with Singtel’s distribution capabilities and the fact that the latter owns 32.3% stake in Bharti Airtel.
However, the fact that India is a country with extremely low average Internet speed in the Asia-Pacific region (ranked 116 globally), the spasmodic broadband connectivity could be a deterrent factor for HOOQ.