Singtel OTT movie service aims for 2017 expansion to Malaysia and Vietnam

Singtel OTT movie service aims for 2017 expansion to Malaysia and Vietnam

Cloud-based movie and TV service Hooq, which is majority owned by Singtel, is planning to expand to Malaysia and Vietnam in 2017 followed by the Middle East and other regions.

Hooq already operates an over-the-top (OTT) service in five countries and it has more than three million registered users since starting in early 2015, CEO Peter Bithos told Capacity in an interview, but its target market is one billion people.

The company uses Amazon Web Services, Akamai and Microsoft Azure for its movies and TV programmes, he said.

The Singtel group has a 67% stake in Hooq and the other two shareholders are Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures, splitting the remaining 33% evenly. The company was launched to compete against Netflix in the region. 

The company is already available to Globe Telecom customers in the Philippines, where the service launched in early 2015, and has since expanded to Telkomsel in Indonesia, AIS in Thailand, Airtel in India and Singtel in Singapore.

Bithos would not give a date for the company’s expansion into Malaysia and Vietnam, except that it would be “within 2017, and early 2017 would be great”.

“As an OTT player we are very cloud-based,” said Bithos. “We’re very cloud-first, so as we open new countries, we don’t have specific needs for infrastructure.”

All four Hooq markets outside Singapore are associate companies of Singtel, in which the company owns shares. Singtel has no direct interests in Malaysia or Vietnam; however Maxis of Malaysia and MobiFone of Vietnam are both members of the Bridge Alliance, a partnership of operators in 36 countries, including Airtel, AIS, Globe, Singtel and Telkomsel.

Capacity’s interview with Bithos will be published in full in the December 2016/January 2017 issue

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