SingTel, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros to launch video streaming service in Thailand


SingTel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros have announced plans to launch a Netflix style video streaming service in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia.

The companies, who have formed the joint venture startup HOOQ, have said they will offer more than 10,000 movies and TV shows ranging from Hollywood blockbusters and US TV series to local movies and programmes from India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The service, which will enable users to stream and download content direct to their mobile device or desktop, will be available in the first quarter of 2015.

There are also plans to roll out the service in other countries in which SingTel has operations, most notably Singapore and Australia.

There is no word yet on how much the service will cost and it will be interesting to see what the options will be with regards to payment.

With Netflix, users need to pay via credit card, which typically isn’t a problem in the United States, UK, Canada or in the countries where Netflix currently offers its streaming service.

However, given that ownership of credit cards is much lower in this part of the world than it is in the West, you’d expect HOOQ to offer some alternative ways of paying.

Whether that’s via some kind of prepaid credit or an over the counter service, similar to that currently offered at 7/11, Family Mart and Tesco Lotus in Thailand, we’ll have to wait and see.

If the streaming service from HOOQ is indeed launched by April 2015 as intended, then it could get a significant head start on Netflix, which although it will soon launch in Australia, is yet to officially launch in Asia.

Speaking at the announcement of the streaming service, Peter Bithos, CEO of HOOQ said: “We are starting this venture to change the way people across Asia view entertainment. Today, across developing markets, there is limited access to quality entertainment, streamed directly to the screen of one’s choice. It’s either illegal, high cost or difficult to get. We aim to fix that.”

“HOOQ will deliver a new form of entertainment that combines the best of Hollywood with the depth and richness of local Asian video content, across all devices at an affordable price.”

ThaiTech looks forward to bringing you more info on the launch of the HOOQ service in Thailand.

Source: SingTel