Spuul a Singapore-based startup, has launched an online video streaming service featuring Indian content, reports PandoDaily. Launched in 2010, Spuul was started by Sudesh Iyer (previously the director of World Media Group and founder of Sony Entertainment TV in India) and S. Mohan (founder of Accellion, buUuk, and several other technology and venture companies). Spuul joins the expanding list of services that offer south Asian/ Indian content to expats, through the internet and connected devices including Verismo’s Mela, Malayalam IPTV and Eros Now. However, the service is available internationally and not restricted to particular territories.
Homepage: Spuul seems to primarily offer full-length Bollywood movies and television shows. The homepage is divided into various sections such as free, recently added, featured and most popular. Users can filter these movies to show movies of any specific genre, pricing or sort them based on ratings, freshness or alphabetically.
There is also a dedicated sidebar featuring the highest rated movies and television shows and a huge carousel on the page, which we assume will be used by the company to feature its latest offerings or features. Interestingly, Spuul has integrated Facebook’s login system rather than its own registration system, in a possible move to leverage the social network’s virality.
Pricing: Spuul currently works on an ad-supported freemium model, quite similar to how Hulu works in the US. It offers a combination of free content and premium content, available for a flat subscription fee of $7.99/month, which has been reduced to $4.99 for limited time as an introductory offer. Spuul says that that both free and paid content will be ad-supported so as to keep its subscription prices low. Apart from that, there is a dedicated ‘Specials‘ section which will feature certain new releases and popular titles for $0.99/movie for 72-hour unlimited access. We were able to access most free titles even in India, though some were notfEA available due to licensing restrictions.
In comparison, Eros International’s Eros Now offers online streaming service for $4.99/month which has been reduced to $2.99/month possibly as an introductory offer, although we assume the movie catalog will be limited to only Eros’s entire film catalog. Verismo’s Mela also offers a similar VoD service, through its iPad and Roku apps for a monthly subscription of $4.99. YouTube also offers movie rentals in the US.
Content: Spuul seems to be Bollywood-centric at present. Some of the free movies that are currently being featured include Yuvraaj, Game, Junglee, De Taali, London Dreams while premium movies that are being featured include I Hate Luv Storys, Paathshaala, Housefull, and Karthik Calling Karthik among others. Spuul stated that the company also offers TV Shows, although we couldn’t find any TV show content, except for an introductory video informing us that the portal will soon offer TV shows across various genres like family dramas, game shows, travel shows, documentaries, cartoons, children oriented shows, sitcoms, cooking shows and reality show among may others.
Multi-Platform Rollout: According to the company website, Spuul intends to allow user to watch these movies across various platforms including computers, mobile devices, connected TVs and game consoles, starting with an iOS app, which is expected to debut on the iTunes store in the forthcoming future.