SINGAPORE, Oct. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- HOOQ, Southeast Asia's largest Video-On-Demand (VOD) service, announced a unique partnership to make its Hollywood content available to the more than 150 million active monthly users of Hotstar, India's largest streaming service. In this first-of-its-kind partnership, HOOQ will be a channel on the Hotstar premium service, allowing Hotstar's viewers to access content from HOOQ's extensive library of exclusive Hollywood content at no extra cost.
This strategic four-year, multi-million-dollar deal cuts across marketing, distribution and content and highlights an upward appetite for Hollywood content by Indian viewers. HOOQ is a joint venture, established by Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. to offer a regional over-the-top (OTT) video service in Asia.
HOOQ delivers both Hollywood blockbusters and television series as well as popular local movies and programs to customers anytime, anywhere by enabling them to stream and download their favorite shows on their device or platform of choice.
"Our collaboration with Hotstar combines their reach with our offering as the 'Home for Hollywood' in India," said Peter Bithos, Chief Executive Officer, HOOQ. "With the appetite for Hollywood content in India growing at a furious pace, we can offer easy access and a very affordable way to watch the best of Hollywood. This partnership underscores our commitment to satisfy the Indian market's appetite for content."
Move over Bollywood, Hollywood is a Smash in India
According to FICCI-EY's research on India's entertainment industry, box office collections from Hollywood films, inclusive of all regional language dubbed versions, totaled $109.1 million USD in 2017, making up 13% of the overall movie box office in the country. This partnership is significant because the India market has been difficult to break into for many companies.
This year alone, the Hollywood juggernaut Avengers: Infinity Wars smashed India box office records, raking in $43.6 million USD, despite only showing in 2,000 cinemas locally, making it the biggest Hollywood film of all time in India. The growing interests of Indian filmgoers towards Hollywood content marks an opportune moment for HOOQ to expand its content distribution channel, starting with Hotstar.
"As one of the pioneers of OTT entertainment for the Indian market, we look for partners who can bring something totally fresh to our audiences and, at the same time, complement our existing offering and ethos," said Ajit Mohan, CEO of Hotstar. "With its mix of the latest Hollywood offerings and original programming, HOOQ has a unique proposition that we are sure that our audiences are going to love!"
Through the new partnership with HOOQ, Hotstar's premium-layer subscribers can choose from thousands of Hollywood titles and will enjoy same-day telecasts of the latest seasons of top-rated Hollywood TV series, including award-winning titles, such as The Big Bang Theory, Arrow, The Flash, S.W.A.T, The Goldbergs and HOOQ Originals like The Oath. They will also be able to choose from a wealth of Hollywood blockbusters and classics, including Avengers, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Pulp Fiction.
"Hotstar Premium is uniquely placed in that it offers titles from global studios like HBO, Disney, Showtime and Fox," says Prabh Singh, Business Head of Hotstar Premium. "Regardless of mood, genre preference or which side of the superhero debate you sit on, Hotstar Premium is the single destination where English content consumers find everything. The partnership with HOOQ firmly strengthens that position."
"The OTT market is a crowded space and our belief is that it is advantageous for consumers to have a few key platforms that evolve to include other channels and services within the platforms," said Zulfiqar Khan, Managing Director of HOOQ for India.
Despite great openings and collections of Hindi and regional language movies in India, English titles have witnessed robust growth over the last couple of years. In 2016, gross box office collection of English films in India grew by 10% compared to 2015, as per the FICCI-KPMG Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2017.