Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros and Singtel has formed a startup for offering video-on-demand services in Asia. The service is already available in Thailand and Bangkok, it will kick off in India from next month.
Dubbed as HOOQ, the service will allow customers to enjoy unlimited online streaming and offline viewing option to a plethora of Hollywood and Indian movies and television content. The service can be accessed via computer as well as Android set-top boxes, smartphones and tablets.
HOOQ has developed an app for both iOS as well as Android platforms that need to be downloaded for accessing the contents.
The service brings to India the biggest Hollywood catalogue where customers can look forward to accessing more than 5,000 Hollywood movies and television shows. This includes titles from Sony, Warner Bros., Disney India, Dreamworks, and Miramax such as "Harry Potter", "Spider-Man", "Iron Man", "Pulp Fiction", and TV series such as "Nikita", "The Shield" and "Friends".
In addition to top Hollywood favourites, HOOQ offers customers an extensive range of over 10,000 Indian films and TV favourites. To deliver this, HOOQ has partnered with the country's top studios, including YRF (Yash Raj Films), Disney India, Rajshri Movies, Reliance, Shemaroo, Sri Balaji, AP International, Whacked Out Media and more than 50 other studios. Customers can watch local high-grossing films such as "Chennai Express", "Vishwaroopam", "Singham" as well as classic films, including "Ek Duje Ke Liya" and "Andaz Apna Apna".
HOOQ Chief Executive Officer Peter Bithos said, "Our ambition is to always bring the best experience with no compromises. We've built our service knowing the constraints and infrastructure issues faced by customers every day. We have designed our service specifically for the challenges of India and other countries like it. HOOQ offers features to ensure you enjoy an uninterrupted viewing experience; including a custom setting for your quality preference, a bandwidth indicator to assess your internet connectivity and adaptive streaming to maximise available bandwidth," he added.
The service will also be available to all users in India through its website. Users can watch videos of their choice and pay for the subscription through multiple e-payment options such as credit card, debit card, cash card, internet banking and mobile wallet.
The service will be available at a monthly rate of ₹199 and will allow 5 devices to use in a single subscription. Like YouTube, HOOQ also offers offline viewing via downloading the contents. However, the download will be device-specific and can't be transferred to other devices. One subscription will allow two devices for downloading the content at a time.