Asian VOD Platform Hooq Developing 100 Original Titles
The Singtel, Sony and Warner Bros. joint venture launches a new slate in part to boost its ad-free "freemium" service.
Asian VOD service Hooq, the joint venture by Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros., is developing a 2019 slate of 100 original titles to be produced across Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and India, the territories it has established as a user base.
The new lineup is expected to significantly boost Hooq’s content offerings, which now clocks at 12,000 hours of local, regional and Hollywood films, shows and live TV. The streamer produced its first Hooq Originals title Critical Eleven in Indonesia in 2017. A part of the new titles are being developed to serve Hooq’s free channels for users in Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. An ad-free "freemium" option was introduced in late 2016, in addition to its subscription service, which is available at a flexible range of prices from a daily fee of $0.28 to annual passes at $42 in Indonesia, one of its largest markets. It partnered up last year with India’s streaming platform Hotstar, which boasts 150 million users.
The announced original lineup encompasses a broad array of genres such as horror, comedy, factual and lifestyle, including the eight-part Singaporean dark comedy She’s a Terrorist and I Love Her, created by the online comedy channel Ministry of Funny and the winner of the second Hooq Filmmakers Guild, which centers on a man who discovers that his partner in a sham marriage is an extremist; the Indian dramedy Bhak, about two filmmakers’ attempt to break into the Bollywood film industry; and the returning seasons of the comedy series Keluarga Badak and the crime thriller Brata, both from Indonesia.
"There is an increasing demand for high-quality entertainment in developing and emerging markets to tell the stories that resonate with those in the region," said Jennifer Batty, chief content officer of Hooq. "Whether it’s the latest local and regional stories, or Hollywood and international, we’re investing more to bring Hooq users the most engaging storylines, immersive narratives and exemplary productions that will not only challenge conventions, but also captivate their attention and imagination."