Hooq, Singapore video streaming service, challenges Netflix: What are main features?

The Singaporean startup has extended its business in Philippines, Thailand, India and Indonesia.

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Hooq, the local video streaming provider, launched its service in Singapore on 24 November with a catalogue of 20,000 shows and movies, including some popular Hollywood and Asian shows aimed at giving tough competition to American multinational entertainment company Netflix.

Other than providing local content, Hooq is one step ahead of Netflix by providing cheaper subscription price at S$8.98 a month which is lower than Netflix plans that start from S$10.98. Moreover, one Hooq account can be used on five devices unlike Netflix, which is device exclusive. However, only two of them can stream content at the same time on Hooq.

Another feature, exclusive for Hooq, is that Android and iOS users can download up to five videos (a day) and watch offline later.

However, the Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros venture has its own drawbacks. The video quality on Hooq is not great and merely allows the user to choose from low, medium and high-quality resolution. When asked about this feature, the company's online FAQ section stated that due to some content rights agreements, some movies or TV series are not available in high quality, reported the Techgoondu.

Another drawback of Asia's first premium video-on-demand service is that it does not allow the user to skip and scroll as fast as Netflix allows. Users often have to wait for few seconds of buffering whenever they try to skip to other parts of a movie.

The 2015 Singaporean startup has extended its business in Philippines, Thailand, India, and Indonesia. When asked about the delayed launch in Singapore, Hooq CEO Peter Bithos said, according to Tech in Asia , that he believes Singaporean audiences are quite sophisticated and he wanted to make sure that the service they are offering is high quality.