Servicing over a billion people is impressive, but does this VOD have the prices and content required to keep you HOOQ’d?
Welcome to HOOQ (pronounced “hook”), the first premium video-on-demand service to launch across South East Asia and India. WarnerMedia, Sony Pictures and Singtel have joined together to offer a whopping 35,000+ hours’ worth of Hollywood, regional and local entertainment titles. Basically, it’s a binge-watch paradise.
On top of that, HOOQ boasts you can view its service anywhere, anytime and on any device. You can also download content for offline viewing. You also get unlimited entertainment on up to five devices, a “cancel anytime policy” and no hidden charges. If you’re a couch potato who calls India, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand or the Philippines home, HOOQ is the biggest game in town and you really ought to look into it.
How much does HOOQ cost?
From the HOOQ splash page, you can engage with the service in one of two ways: you can rent movies for INR59 per movie, or you can subscribe to HOOQ’s content-rich streaming service by supplying and verifying an email address.
The main plan lets you stream unlimited TV series and movies (excluding rentals) at a low price, plus lets you rent one movie per month so you can watch the latest Hollywood movies roughly two months after premiere. This currently goes for INR89 a month and you can pay for the service with a major credit card, Paytm or OLA Money.
The second option is a one-time payment on your phone bill if you have an eligible Singtel data plan. It’s the same price, but this method does not come with a trial period.
What content does HOOQ offer?
HOOQ specialises in the best of popular Hollywood and Asian entertainment. You can rent the latest movie releases fresh from the cinema (typically 90 days after screening), and each movie comes with subtitles in English, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Hindi and more. And, if you want to watch offline, HOOQ has options to download its content, so you can stream your favourite films and episodes anytime, anywhere.
HOOQ emphasises local content, while its connections with Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros. have given the service access to some of the media giants’ titles. In addition to this, HOOQ recently signed a content partnership with Disney to bring TV series and features from Disney Studios, Marvel Studios and Touchstone. HOOQ is also now in partnership with Indian VOD giant Hotstar – something that’s sure to keep Bollywood fans happy.
When it comes to having its own original content, HOOQ has made some tentative steps but hasn’t too much on offer at this time. A co-production deal has been set up with leading mobile provider Globe Telecom and independent studio Reality Entertainment to create a spin-off series based on the multi-award-winning movie On the Job. It’s a great start and we’re keen to see what other shows come from the partnership.
What devices are compatible with HOOQ?
HOOQ is a versatile service that works on many devices and browsers. In addition to the standard web browser, there are dedicated apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. For iOS, you’ll need to be running iOS 7.0 or above. Firmware requirements for Android users can vary from device to device, but as a general guide you should go in expecting to be on Android 4.1 (Jellybean) though there is a beta app available that expects version 4.3.
It’s worth noting that the HOOQ app supports the downloading of movies and TV. Simply select the season and/or episode icon on the top-right corner; a list of available episodes will then show you the option to either download or play.
Does HOOQ offer a free trial?
HOOQ seems very keen to attract new users and is offering not just one but two ways to score a free trial. You can sign up for a 30-day free trial as long as you’re willing to share your payment details upfront. If you don’t want to enter your payment details yet, you can get HOOQ’d to a free 7-day trial instead – no strings attached. You can sign up to either of these via a verified email address or a mobile number if that’s easier.
How much data does HOOQ use?
Note: these are all rough estimates only. Your mileage may vary.