Singtel is pulling the plug on Hooq, the streaming service it launched with Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures in 2015.
In a release Friday, Singtel, which owns a controlling stake of 76.5%, said it has “commenced a collectors’ voluntary liquidation”, which is not expected to have any material impact on Singtel's business.
Hooq operates in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, India and the Philippines and claimed to have 80 million users.
In a statement, the company echoed issues raised in our recent look at the viability of Asia's native streaming services (see "OTT platforms in Asia face profit challenges").
“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,” a Singtel statement said. “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."