In a strategic decision to make use of India’s growing mobile internet market, a video-on-demand service backed by Warner Bros., Sony and Singapore telecom giant Singtel is slated to enter Indian markets from June.
Called HOOQ, the entertainment startup is aimed at upcoming markets – India being one of them. The venture will offer video content on the lines of movies and popular TV series from Hollywood studios along with collaborating with homegrown studios like Shemaroo, Balaji, Yash Raj Films and SUN TV.
In recent years, internet penetration has seen an exponential growth in both metropolitan as well as tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Moreover, data tariffs and device prices have also come down. Large-screen devices with 3G capabilities can be now bought for a price as low as Rs.5,000 making them affordable options for entertainment for a large section of the Indian population.
According to reports, out of the 300 million internet users in India, 200 million of them get access via mobile phones. Even domestic startups like PressPlay are monetizing successfully in context to this factor.
Peter Bithos, CEO of HOOQ, claims that the company will offer ad-free content for a monthly charge of Rs.200. The Hollywood content will be taken from studio partners Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Disney, Dreamworks and Miramax. Domestic content will range across movies and TV series across various languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi etc.