Philippines gets Hooq-ed, first to launch Singtel’s Netflix-type service
By Digital News Asia February 9, 2015
- Asia’s video-on-demand service launches in partnership with Globe Telecom
- US$4.50/mth for thousands of movies, also available bundled with Globe services
HOOQ, the video-on-demand service from the startup joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros Entertainment, will kick off in the Philippines from late February in partnership with Globe Telecom.
Hooq will enable its customers to enjoy unlimited online streaming access and an offline viewing option to top Hollywood and Filipino movie and television content, via any device including computers, smartphones and tablets, Globe Telecom said in a statement.
Filipinos can look forward to more than 10,000 movies and television episodes and TV shows including titles from partners Sony and Warner Bros such as Harry Potter, Spider-Man and Inception, as well as popular TV series.
Local film and TV content will also be available through partnerships with the country’s top studios, such as GMA, Viva Communications, Regal Entertainment, and ABS-CBN, Globe Telecom said.
Customers can watch local high-grossing films such as Metro Manila, A Secret Affair, Shake Rattle and Roll and Ang Tanging Ina, as well as classics including Dyesebel, Bagets and Bituing Walang Ningning.
TV shows like My Husband’s Lover, Mulawin, Tayong Dalawa and Mara Clara will also be available anytime and anywhere.
“Across emerging economies, people have amazing stories and love stories,” said Hooq chief executive officer Peter G. Bithos (pic).
“However, a few billion people have no quality way of seeing the best stories from Hollywood or their local market. Hooq will change that – [it] will change the way people in emerging markets consume and enjoy entertainment,” he added.
Bithos described the Philippines as a “natural first market” for Hooq.
“Filipinos’ dual love of local and Hollywood content, combined with their digital savviness, makes the Philippines a perfect place for us to start,” said Bithos, who was formerly Globe Telecom’s chief operating advisor.
Ripe for rollout
According to a Nielsen report in 2014, viewing online video content has become a pastime for digital consumers in the Philippines, with 85% watching at least weekly, the second highest in the region, Globe Telecom said.
The same report also revealed that seven in 10 digital consumers in the country report watching TV content and movies via online sources such as video-on-demand, the second highest penetration of Internet TV in the region at 71%.
“Now more than ever, Filipinos consider connectivity as an essential part of their daily lives. Our customers, whether prepaid, postpaid, or broadband, are increasingly embracing an always-on world where they expect a wonderful experience from innovative and engaging data and content offers,” said Globe Telecom president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu.
“Right now, we are in the best position to offer this type of service as the leader in enabling the digital lifestyle of Filipinos and the No 1 network for smartphones.
“We see the video-on-demand services offered by Hooq as a critical offering representing the future of the industry. Now that consumers have access to a variety of international and local content, entertainment will now be more personal,” he added.
Hooq will soon be available to Globe Telecom customers on a plan-based service for 199 pesos (US$4.50) per month for access to thousands of movies, which the company said was far more affordable than buying a ticket for just one movie.
It will also be offered as a bundled service with the telco’s GoSURF and Tattoo broadband services.
The service will also be accessible to all customers in the Philippines through its website, http://hooq.tv.
“Following the launch in the Philippines, Hooq will be rolled out across Asia soon,” said Jonathan Auerbach, chief executive officer of Singtel Group Digital L!fe.
“The rapid adoption of connected devices means more people in Asia are able to access the Internet anywhere and at any time, driving demand for compelling content that enhances their digital lives.
“Hooq is set to change the way people across the region consume and enjoy entertainment,” he declared.
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