Hooq says doubling up India investments; eyes ISP partnerships, Telecom News, ET Telecom


NEW DELHI: Singapore-based video-on-demand streaming service HOOQ is doubling up its India investments and has modified technique to concentrate on Hollywood and English premium video content material to tackle Netflix and Amazon prime, and drive development in India’s extremely aggressive over-the-top (OTT) video market.

“We are doubling up on our investments for India. We are investing in content, manpower as well as Technology. Good thing is that we have clarity now…investors have been very supportive of what we have been doing,” Zulfiqar Khan, managing director, HOOQ India, in his interplay with ET.

“We are invested in the content offering. It is the biggest differentiation.”

On the brand new technique, Khan stated that Hooq has narrowed its concentrate on Hollywood and English premium content material, and it has began phasing out regional and Hindi content material. “The change in strategy has led us to revisit partnerships that we do. We are now looking at more partnerships with stakeholders,” he added.

India is predicted to be among the many prime ten OTT video markets on this planet in 4 yr, and is rising at a CAGR of 23%, in response to PwC. A separate report by Strategy Analytics stated that India’s OTT video income is predicted to develop at a CAGR of 30% to succeed in $2 billion in 2022 in comparison with $529 million in 2017.

HOOQ will proceed its Rs 89 month-to-month plan. Khan stated that Hooq’s content material worth is “a sweet spot” for patrons. Hooq’s rival NetFlix expenses Rs 500 a month for its beginning plan, Hotstar expenses Rs 199 per thirty days and Amazon Prime is offered for Rs 129 per thirty days.

Smaller gamers like Voot, Eros Now, Yupp TV, Hungama, and ALT Balaji are additionally tapping into the section whereas inexpensive pricing.

“The focus is also to provide customers with an easier way to pay for the service. If that means working with a telco or financial partners, we will do that. A greater focus is on that,” Khan added.

Hooq is already working with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and ACT Fibernet to distribute its content material via their respective content material aggregation platforms. Khan stated that these partnerships have helped Hooq to reshape its technique.

Khan stated that Internet service suppliers (ISP) section hasn’t consolidated in India versus the telco area, thus there’s a lot scope for brand spanking new partnerships.

“ISPs are empowering people to have good speed data. We are already in discussions with a few more partners,” Khan stated.

The government added that common time spent for content material on ISPs’ community is greater than 4 instances than what it’s on a telco’s community. “We will continue to lead our distribution strategy from partnerships point of view.”

He, nonetheless, added that a number of the corporate’s focus will on model constructing and shopper communications according to the brand new technique. “Ultimately, the consumer must know the brand.”

Hooq has lately launched a “progressive web app” or PWA model of its content material service to drive consumption in India, which at present has over 35 energetic OTT content material gamers.

“We are upscaling people, and building serious capability and capacity for India now be it in terms of hardware Technology as well as manpower. Our investments are going up now on this front as well,” Khan stated.

The government stated that the Indian OTT content material market is cluttered, which poses a problem but in addition presents scope to develop with differentiated content material given the range available in the market.

“Secondly, every player wants the consumer to pay for content. That’s the biggest challenge on how to get a customer to pay,” he stated, including {that a} small set of individuals have began to pay for content material which is an effective signal.

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