Video-on-demand (VOD) service HOOQ has many things in store for its Philippines subscribers in the next three months.
“It all boils down to the customers wanting to be in control of what they watch, where they watch and when they watch,” HOOQ Philippines Country Manager Sheila Paul said at their cool and Instagrammable office in Bonifacio Global City during an interview last week.
Starting early-June HOOQ will allow playability on a mobile browser. This means there is no more need to download the HOOQ app if your phone doesn’t have enough memory. This is for those who are using more affordable phones. All the subscriber needs to do is access HOOQ via the browser and log in. “We want to be accessible to the customer on every possible device. No other premium VOD app in the Philippines allows playback within the mobile browser. Once you open the browser, the catalog is already exposed. You’re asked to sign in when you hit ‘play,’” Paul said.
HOOQ is also working to improve its service’s compatability with smart TVs. The company did a regional survey across all out markets and the study showed that in the Philippines, 7 of 10 of respondents said they owned a smart TV. This is a big proportion compared to other regions.
“Filipinos love gadgets and devices and everyone is upgrading. We have to be where the customer is and in the last two years we’ve made ourselves compatible with Chromecast, Roku, Airplay and Android Set Up Box,” Paul said.
“We always have to go by which devices are being used by a bigger group of people,” she added.
According to HOOQ’s survey, most Filipinos use the Android OS and in terms of TV, it’s still Samsung, LG and Sony. Basically, the customer wants to access HOOQ on every device, from a mobile phone to a smart TV. HOOQ has also started with the P149 price for 30 days. A year ago, it was P59 for seven days. In the next three months, they’ll be rolling out the one-day “sachet.” Regionally, the price is 25 cents (US) but here, Paul said they are looking at the price of P10 to P15 per day.
We asked Paul about HOOQ’s top streaming shows and movies.
“We monitor shows via ‘unique events’ so based on that, it’s latest Filipino blockbusters, such as Kita Kita and Meet Me in St. Gallen. As for streaming minutes, meaning the length of time people spend streaming a show, it would be the Marvel and DC shows that we have like Supergirl, Arrow, Inhumans and Runaways,” she replied.
HOOQ has realized that the more seasons a TV show has, the more streaming minutes it will get. Grey’s Anatomy is a favorite of viewers because HOOQ has all the seasons of the show.
To know what its viewers want, HOOQ studies trends. For example, when Ang Probinsyano starring Coco Martin started airing on TV, streaming minutes for FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano increased proportionately.
“What we do when we see a trend like that is to grab it by pushing the content to the front of HOOQ and promoting it on social media,” Paul said.
HOOQ’s market is pegged at 25 to 44 years old, ABC market, smartphone and data users, and with enough income to afford extras in the household. They look at each account and personalize the content accordingly in terms of what the user sees on the app or push notifications on social media.
Paul said Black Panther, which has grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide and is the second-highest grossing film of 2018, is now available for rental on HOOQ. Black Panther is the 18th film released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has been acclaimed by critics the world over.
HOOQ subscribers get access to one Transactional Video on the Demand movie of their choice every month, and any additional rental will be the usual price. The films will be some of the freshest picks from the biggest Hollywood studios. Black Panther was released on February 15 internationally and on February 16 in the United States.
Fans can also now enjoy a Marvel marathon on HOOQ with Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel’s The Avengers, Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man, Thor, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and exclusives to HOOQ: Marvel’s Inhumans, Marvel’s Runaways and, coming soon, Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger.
Cloak and Dagger will be aired exclusively on the same day as the US telecast. The first two episodes will air live on June 8 with new episodes coming every Friday.