Popular OTT platform HOOQ collapses, goes for 'voluntary' liquidation
OTT platform HOOQ, that brought premium Hollywood content to India and the South Asian countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore, has filed for voluntary liquidation. HOOQ was majorly owned by Singapore-based company Singtel (76.5% controlling stake), in partnership with Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros.
Viewers in India are familiar with HOOQ through its tie-up with Indian streaming service, Hotstar. HOOQ is the primary driving force for bringing popular shows such as The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, Humans, among other premium content, to Indian audiences. It streamed content on Hotstar from Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and Miramax, besides others, and was also available through Vodafone Play and Airtel Play in India.
HOOQ had launched very recently— in 2015 — before going belly up within five years. Unsustainability in the face of rising costs and increased competition, viability, and reluctance of subscribers to pay for watching premium content, were some of the reasons cited by the company to finally pull the plug.
HOOQ informed the press about the impending liquidation through a prepared statement, that read, “Global and local content providers are increasingly going direct, the cost of content remains high, and emerging-market consumers’ willingness to pay has increased only gradually amid an increasing array of choices."
“Because of these changes, a viable business model for an independent, OTT distribution platform has become increasingly challenged. As a result, Hooq has not been able to grow sufficiently to provide sustainable returns nor cover escalating content costs and the continuous operating costs of an independent OTT distribution platform.”
HOOQ had almost 80 million active monthly users in the five countries it had a presence in. It also boasted of an imposing content library of 10,000 movies and TV series.
But unfortunately, even these were not enough to give the streaming service the profitability and financial numbers it needed to keep going.
Stay tuned to LetsOTT for further updates on this story.