HOOQ enters into deal with Hotstar to expand reach in India

Singapore-based streaming platform HOOQ has signed a deal with India’s Hotstar to make its 6,000-hour catalogue of Hollywood films and TV shows available to Hotstar Premium users.

The deal covers TV series such as The Big Bang TheoryArrowThe FlashS.W.A.T. and The Goldbergs, along with HOOQ Originals including The Oath. Films made available on Hotstar under the deal include the Harry Potter and Spider-Man franchises, as well as classics such as Pulp Fiction.

Hotstar, which also has content deals with HBO, Showtime, Disney and Fox, currently has around 150 million monthly active users.

According to the annual FICCI-EY report on India’s entertainment industry, US films are starting to make gains at the Indian box office, which has traditionally been dominated by local-language product. In 2017, Hollywood titles grossed $108m (Rs8.01bn), accounting for a 13% market share.

In 2018, US blockbuster Avengers: Infinity Wars broke Indian box office records by grossing $43.6m to become the biggest US film of all time in India.

“With the appetite for Hollywood content in India growing at a furious pace, we are poised to offer the Indian customer easily accessible and a very affordable way to watch the best of Hollywood,” said HOOQ CEO Peter Bithos.

Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan said: “Hotstar Premium’s English catalogue is unlike anything you’ll find on any other platform in the world – an aggregation of content from across studios and content producers, at a single destination. This partnership with HOOQ, with its portfolio of curated blockbuster Hollywood content, seals the argument – for an English content fan, there is nowhere else to go.”

HOOQ, which is owned by Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros, has a streaming service in India headed by Zulfiqar Khan. It also operates in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.