In the Asia Pacific region, subscription revenue from video on demand services is set to grow to $390 million by 2022 from $60 million in 2017, according to a report from market research firm Dataxis.
Hooq started in 2015 as a joint venture between Singapore’s largest mobile network operator Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Entertainment and has steadily moved into producing local, original content — like most video streaming services today. It’s currently available in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia and Singapore. Though the company declined to disclose how many users it currently has, its app on the Google Play Store showed there were more than 10 million downloads.
While Hooq also has its own proprietary app, its CEO, Peter Bithos, said that the partnership with Grab is a new way for the company to make its service readily available across multiple platforms. The partnership would potentially give the start-up access to Grab’s massive user base in Southeast Asia.
“We took a risk and we started re-engineering our platform from the bottom up to be able to integrate seamlessly,” he told CNBC, adding, “We’ve built our platform and our business strategy around how customers use video, not forcing customers to take a certain path.” He explained that users could potentially start a film on the Grab app and then continue watching it from where they left off on the Hooq app.
Hooq has daily, weekly, monthly and annual subscriptions. It also has a free, limited service where the videos available are shorter and lighter, according to Bithos, and it is supported by advertisements.
Grab’s Liu declined to disclose how it would make money off the new service but acknowledged plans to ultimately monetize it.