After tying up with Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers earlier this year, Singapore telecom operator Singtel has launched its video streaming service HOOQ in India, reports ET Tech. The beta version of the Indian service will be launched today, followed by a formal roll out next month. The service will follow releases in Thailand and Philippines.
The company claims that HOOQ will have a catalogue of over 10,000 movies and TV series, including titles from Sony and Warner Brothers like the Harry Potter series, Spider Man, Friends and Gossip Girl. The platform will also offer regional content from India, China, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. The ET report mentions that the catalog will also include Indian film and TV content from studios like Rajshri, Reliance, Shemaroo, Balaji and Whacked Out Studios.
Bandwidth indicator, offline play
Users will be able to stream content for Rs 199 per month and also download it (although what all is downloadable is not clear yet). Apparently, HOOQ will also feature a content recommendation engine. Users will also be offered adaptive streaming, bandwidth indicator and offline play.
Service on 5 devices
The service will provide on-demand premium content for a fee. At Rs 199, users will get unlimited access to content across 5 devices where 2 devices can be used simultaneously. The service, the report adds, was built keeping low bandwidth and speeds in mind for uninterrupted service. HOOQ will concentrate on metros initially and expand to Tier I and Tier II towns going forward.
Singtel had mentioned previously that HOOQ would use Singtel Group’s carrier billing capabilities. In India, the carrier billing facility will be provided by Airtel, in which Singtel owns a 32.34% stake. The service can be paid for through credit cards, debit cards, net banking and Paytm wallets.
Last month, Quickplay announced that its managed video platform will power Singtel’s HOOQ. The solution will initially include its library of multi-language content featuring over 10,000 movies and TV series and DRM solution by Microsoft PlayReady and Verimatrix.
Other video streaming services in India:
–Last month, digital entertaiment company Hungama.com was set to launch a new application called Hungama Play for streaming movies. The new application will feature about 3,000 Indian and English movies.
In January, The Viral Fever Media Labs launched a movie streaming service called TVF Inbox Office, with the slacker comedy film Suleimani Keeda the only movie available for streaming on the site at present.
– Star India had also launched a video streaming service in beta called Hotstar.com in the same month. Hotstar seems to include all of Star India’s television and sports offerings along with offering Bollywood & regional movies from other studios.
– In September last year, media company Pritish Nandy Communications(PNC) announced the launch of a service similar to Netflix and Hulu.com in India called Ogle, after acquiring it in July. The service was expected to officially launch by end the of last year, however currently the Ogle website informs visitors that TV shows, movies & live events will soon be launched on the platform. Last year, Ogle had live streamed the NH7 Weekender concerts.
– Google had rolled out its movie streaming service YouTube Rentals in India, back in March 2013. YouTube Rentals offers users a wide range of Bollywood, regional, off-beat & international movies, which they can rent or purchase for online viewing.