Hooq, a joint venture between Sony Pictures, Warner Bros Studios and Singtel, today announced its plans to launch its video service in India. The company claims to have a catalog of over 15,000 movies and TV shows, which will be available to subscribers to either stream or download. Hooq will be available to users in India sometime in June for a monthly subscription of Rs 199. Also Read - Most OTT consumers in India are frustrated searching for something to watch: ReportAlso Read - Tata Sky becomes Tata Play, adds OTT combo packs, free service visits and more
The company says it has over 5,000 Hollywood movies, TV series and shows from Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Disney,Dreamworks and Miramax. For local content, the company has tied up with YRF, UTV Disney, Rajshri, Reliance,Shemaroo, Sri Balaji AP International, Whacked Out Media and over 50 other studios. In all, at the time of launch, Hooq would have over 10,000 videos including Bollywood, Tollywood and Kollywood movies along with TV shows. Also Read - Netflix announces top 10 shows, movies: Red Notice, Bridgerton, Don't Look Up and more
“We are in talks with major Indian and Hollywood studios to bring more content to Hooq. We will keep updating our content catalog constantly,” Krishnan Rajagopalan, Chief Content and Distribution Officer, Hooq told BGR India.
Hooq will be available under beta for a few weeks before it reaches commercial availability next month. It will compete with Pritish Nandy backed Indian startup, Ogle, which BGR India had exclusively reported about. While Hooq’s major focus at the moment seems to be on movies, Ogle is focusing on international TV series and was also getting into live streaming of events. It was the exclusive live stream partner for NH7 music festival. Interestingly, Ogle is also expected to get out of beta next month.
Hooq users will be able to access their account on five devices at any given point of time and stream content on two devices simultaneously. One big USP of Hooq would be offline play. At any given time users will be able to download up to five videos for offline viewing. There seem to be no limits on the number of videos they can download in a month, till the time there are five files stored locally on the device.
“When we go out of beta, users will also be able to choose the resolution in which they can download the content. Users can Chromecast it to a TV,” Peter Bithos, CEO, Hooq told BGR India.
India will be the third market for Hooq, which is already available in Thailand and Philippines. The company is looking exclusively at emerging markets for its service and will soon come to other Asian countries.
One of the key concerns in India would be bandwidth consumption, especially considering Fair Usage Policy data caps carriers and ISPs put on users even in “unlimited” plans. For these, Hooq is already in talks with major ISPs and carriers in the country, Rajagopalan told BGR India.