Hooq

Hooq (stylised HOOQ, pronounced like hook) was a Singaporean video on demand streaming service. It was a joint-venture of Singtel, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros., with presence in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Singapore. Hooq filed for liquidation on 27 March 2020, and shut down on 30 April 2020. Its assets were acquired by Coupang.

Hooq
Type of businessJoint venture
Type of site
OTT platform
Available inEnglish, Thai, Indonesian
Founded30 January 2015 (2015-01-30)
Dissolved30 April 2020 (2020-04-30)
Headquarters
Area served
Owners
Key peoplePeter Bithos
(CEO)
ProductsVideo streaming
URLwww.hooq.tv
Current statusOffline

History

Hooq was a joint-venture of Singtel, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros., established on 30 January 2015, when the presence of Netflix in Asia was still limited.[1] An online streaming video platform, Hooq would be able to capitalise on Singtel's reach and distribution to deliver Hollywood movies, television series, as well as local programming to Asian markets.[1] Hooq also produced original content to attract subscribers,[2] starting with a mini-series based on the multi-award-winning movie, On the Job which revolves around a hard-hitting topic in Philippine society.[3]

The platform was progressively launched in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Singapore over 2015 and 2016.[1][2][4] The content on the platform was accessed with a monthly or yearly subscription fee.[5]

Hooq was named Best Mobile App in the Media, Film, TV or Video category at the GSMA's Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards 2016 in Barcelona.[6]

Due to its fast growing, but loss-making status in Singtel's portfolio, an initial public offering was considered for value realisation in 2019.[7] However, on 27 March 2020, Hooq filed for liquidation, citing "significant structural changes" that had occurred in the over-the-top (OTT) video market and its competitive landscape.[8] Its global headcount of 240 staff was affected and laid off during this liquidation process.[9] HOOQ shut down on 30 April 2020.[10][11]

Ownership

Singtel owned 65 percent of Hooq's shares, while Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. each owned 17.5 percent.[1] The share structure remained unchanged when it raised an additional US$25,000,000 in 2017.[2] On 27 March 2020, when announced its plans for liquidation, it was revealed that Singtel has an indirect control of 76.5 percent of the company.[12]

In July 2020, South Korean e-commerce company Coupang acquired Hooq's assets, which are being used as the basis of its own service Coupang Play.[13]

References

  1. Lee, Terence (30 January 2015). "Singtel to start Netflix competitor in Asia with Sony Pictures, Warner Bros". Tech in Asia. Archived from the original on 27 December 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  2. "HOOQ raised additional USD25 million from its shareholders – Omdia". technology.informa.com. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  3. "Hooq gets 'On the Job' as a mini-series". Archived from the original on 27 December 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  4. "Singtel inks JV with Warner Bros, Sony Pictures to distribute videos in Asia". Singapore Business Review. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  5. "TV streaming services in Singapore: Which should you go for?". AsiaOne. 20 September 2019. Archived from the original on 27 December 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  6. Bulletin, The Manila. "HOOQ named best mobile app in Barcelona's GLOMO Awards". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  7. Leow, Annabeth (27 June 2019). "Singtel CEO's pay nearly halved to S$3.5m". The Business Times. Archived from the original on 27 December 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  8. Lam, Fiona (27 March 2020). "Singtel's video streaming service Hooq in liquidation". The Business Times. Archived from the original on 16 September 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  9. "240 staff axed by Singtel's Hooq face uncertain future". The Business Times. 23 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  10. "Streaming service HOOQ to shut down on 30 April". The Jakarta Post. 28 April 2020. Archived from the original on 5 October 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  11. "Indian Arrowverse Fans Left in the Dark as Hooq Shuts Down". NDTV. 30 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  12. "Singtel-backed streaming service HOOQ files for liquidation". CNA. Archived from the original on 27 December 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  13. "SoftBank-Backed Coupang Buys Hooq Assets to Take on Netflix". Bloomberg. 9 July 2020. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
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