Movie Feature

Singtel joins Asian video streaming joint-venture

By Zaki JufriMovies - 30 January 2015 9:00 AM | Updated 2:29 PM

Singtel joins Asian video streaming joint-venture

Warner Bros and Sony Pictures Television are teaming up with Singapore's Singtel to launch a streaming video service, Hooq, in Southeast Asia.

The companies have formed Hooq to offer more than 10,000 Hollywood films and TV shows, as well as local-language content via streams or downloads across a variety of platforms.

The joint venture, designed to be an over-the-top service, to bypass traditional cable or satellite services, will be based in Singapore.

Peter Bithos, the former chief operating officer of Globe Telecom in the Philippines, has been named chief executive officer of Hooq.

He said: "We are starting this venture to change the way people across Asia view entertainment.

"Today, across developing markets, there is limited access to quality entertainment, streamed directly to the screen of one's choice. It's either illegal, high-cost or difficult to get. We aim to fix that."

Hooq will roll out across Singtel's network in Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Thailand during the first quarter and will handle billing and other technical duties.

Singtel claims half a billion mobile customers, including minority stakes in companies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Jonathan Auerbach, Singtel Group Digital Life's chief executive, said:"Hooq is an important part of Singtel's digital strategy. We have unique assets that give us a right to play in this space, and with our partnership with Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros Entertainment, we will achieve our vision to be the largest OTT (over-the-top) video service in the region." 

Auerbach said that Singtel had been looking for an opportunity to launch an OTT service as improved data networks have increased the demand for video available on digital platforms. 

"This is a more than S$1 billion opportunity in our markets," he added.

"Video transmission requires significant internet bandwidth, which greatly affects customer experience. With Hooq, we are bringing together key elements of technology, service and content to deliver the full internet experience to customers." 

The movies that Hooq will offer will include 'Spider-Man' and 'Harry Potter', popular TV shows such as 'Friends' and 'Gossip Girl', as well as Indian, Chinese, Thai, Filipino, Indonesian, Korean and Japanese movies and TV series.

George Chien, executive vice-president of networks with Sony Pictures Television Asia Pacific, said: "Consumers expect premium entertainment content to be available to them at their convenience and as a result, over-the-top delivery has become an important part of our business.

"Through this partnership, we hope to create a service to meet that demand as it grows in Asia."