Following its liquidation filing, the Singaporean on-demand video streaming platform Hooq will shut down its service in Indonesia on April 30. The firm made the announcement through a thread on its Twitter account, thanking users who have enjoyed its streaming service in the past five years.
On March 27, Reuters reported that Hooq Digital was filing for liquidation as it had not been able to provide sustainable returns and to cover escalating costs. Hooq is backed by Singapore telco group Singtel which owns the majority stake, as well as Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros Entertainment. Despite its big-name investors, the company failed to compete with global competitors such as Netflix that has expanded rapidly in Southeast Asia. The high cost of content and the unwillingness of consumers to pay were also touted to be reasons behind Hooq’s struggle.
In February last year, Hooq formed a partnership with Grab to provide video service on the latter’s platform. The move was seen as part of Grab’s strategy to entice customers to spend more time on the app. The collaboration also gave Hooq a new customer acquisition channel, providing access to Grab’s millions of users.
However, this strategic partnership couldn’t save Hooq in the end. A Grab Indonesia spokesperson confirmed to KrASIA that the Hooq streaming video service is no longer available on Grab’s platform. The firm didn’t share more details, on whether this deactivation is permanent, or if it will bring on a new video streaming partner later.
Southeast Asia and particularly Indonesia is a competitive landscape for over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Some of the remaining players in the country are Netflix, Malaysia’s iFlix, Indonesia’s Vidio, and Gojek’s entertainment arm GoPlay.