HOOQ, the Asian streaming video platform is making its way into local content production. Launched two years ago and backed by Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros., Singaporean telco, and Singtel, the Singapore-based company now operates in five countries, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and India.
Its first local production “On The Job,” is directed by acclaimed Filipino director Erik Matti and co-produced with Reality Entertainment. Its pilot episode will be released as a feature film in August, followed by a 5-part series six weeks later.
The push for local local content, which is viewed as key to attracting and retaining subscribers in the region, gives the local players a chance to gain traction while SVOD giants Amazon and Netflix are still relatively weak in region. Adding to the company’s plan of action, HOOQ has started to offer subscribers one free transactional video per month. The move is intended as both a client acquisition strategy and as way of quickly refreshing its catalog.
Additionally, the company has launched a film competition, the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild. HOOQ will shortlist five projects to be made as $30,000 pilots that will air online. The film that subscribers vote as the best will be made into a full series.
A few other projects in the works from the company are ‘The T Party,’ an 8-part rom com series built around a fictional online dating app; “Sweet 20,” an Indonesian remake of the hit Korean body swap movie “Miss Granny;” and “Critical Eleven,” an adaptation of Ika Natassa’s best-selling Indonesian romantic drama “Ada Apa Degan Cinta?.”
HOOQ does not disclose its metrics, but describes itself as the largest video-on-demand service in South East Asia.