Streaming service HOOQ files for liquidation

Writer: Florey DM

Peter Bithos, CEO of HOOQ, at the video streaming provider's launch in Singapore in 2016.
Peter Bithos, CEO of HOOQ, at the video streaming provider's launch in Singapore in 2016.

28 Mar – It was a just couple of months back that HOOQ announced its plans to expand its catalogue with local contents, but looks like that plan will no longer be in motion as the video-on-demand streaming service provider has filed for liquidation.

"Global and local content providers are increasingly going direct, the cost of content remains high, and emerging-market consumers' willingness to pay has increased only gradually amid an increasing array of choices," said a HOOQ spokesperson in a statement, as quoted by TechCrunch.

"Because of these changes, a viable business model for an independent, OTT distribution platform has become increasingly challenged. As a result, HOOQ has not been able to grow sufficiently to provide sustainable returns nor cover escalating content costs and the continuous operating costs of an independent OTT distribution platform."

HOOQ was announced in 2015 as a joint venture between Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros Entertainment, and was officially launched in Singapore a year later. It has since expanded to Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and its biggest market, India.

However, in its five years of business, it has failed to find its footing as bigger competitors such as Netflix saturated the markets.

To date, HOOQ has raised $95 million, which includes the $70 million provided by the three abovementioned partners in 2015. It has not received any new funds, whether from new or existing investors.

This 13 April, the Singapore-headquartered firm will be holding a shareholder meeting and creditor meeting.

As per The Business Times' report, Messrs Lim Siew Soo and Brendon Yeo Sau Jin has been appointed as HOOQ's "joint and several provisional liquidators to oversee ongoing operations in the interim period."

Singtel, which has an indirect 76.5 per cent effective stake in HOOQ, disclosed in an exchange filing yesterday that HOOQ's liquidation will not have any material impact on its business.

(Photo source: HOOQ | Techgoondu)

Cinema Online, 28 March 2020