Tuesday, October 11, 2016

HOOQ's First Ever Ad-Free "Freemium" Model in Southeast Asia Introduces Mobile-First User Experience

I've been hooked on HOOQ since last year when I started watching some TV series I missed several episodes of, as well as movies I didn't get to catch during their runs at the cinema theater. Now, Asia's first and largest premium video-on-demand service unveils its new app with ad-free "freemium" features.

find a wide selection of TV series on HOOQ
The first of its kind hybrid model built in Asia for Asian customers, HOOQ takes on a mobile-first user experience to cater to the varied demands of users who are always on the go. Jane Cruz-Walker, HOOQ Philippines' Country Manager, acknowledges that peoples' viewing times and habits have changed. "We are so mobile now and there are lots of waiting happening. So turn downtime to what you want it to be! Whether you're waiting for your turn in the salon or doctor's clinic, you can catch up on your favorite shows," she suggested. "You are in control to turn moments into HOOQ time, any time!"

HOOQ ambassador and Miss World 2013 Megan Young estimated that 90% of the time, her job in the entertainment industry is spent waiting. So, while having her hair and makeup done, exercising on a treadmill, or being stuck traffic, Megan plays catch up on her favorite TV series like Scandal and Revenge on HOOQ. 

nice to know that Megan, like the rest of us,
enjoys binge-watching her favorite TV shows
The beautiful actress further revealed how happy she was to find out that she could watch Encantadia on the app because she is a big fan of Jennylyn Mercado. Her advice to everyone? "Have fun while waiting. Download HOOQ asap and binge watch your favorite shows!"

HOOQ's new hybrid model now allows viewers to sample a premium service at no cost because every registered user can watch the pilot episodes of all TV series even after their free trial period has ended. I love this idea that you can "test run" shows first to see if you will like one (or several) enough to continue watching and pay for the subscription. 

just some of the Pinoy TV series available on HOOQ
In addition, "Users who can't commit to subscribe for a year can now do so for a week or a month. You no longer have to delete the app when your subscription ends because you'll still get access to new pilot episodes ad-free!" explained Krishnan Rajagopalan, HOOQ's Chief Content Officer.

"We believe this will be a win-win strategy for both our customers and our business as it allows the customers to try the service and the content before they decide to purchase. At the same time, we have the opportunity to re-engage customers whenever we introduce our latest titles, outside of their free trial period," pointed out HOOQ CEO Peter Bithos who added that they are launching the product in the Philippines where it all began as Filipinos are watching content whenever, wherever with our mobile phones. 

Megan Young with HOOQ executives 
Sheila Paul, Jeff Remegio, Jane Cruz-Walker, 
Peter Bithos, Krishnan Rajagupalan and Ravi Vora
Jeffrey Remigio, HOOQ Philippines' Director of Content, assured, "We continue to grow our catalog by partnering with other content providers." At the moment, HOOQ already has over 10,000 movies and TV series available on the app.

HOOQ fans can also look forward to a new app interface that boasts a mobile-first user experience that   was built from extensive customer beta testing and usability research. The goal is to derive a customer-centric experience, given that over 80% of us access HOOQ on our mobile devices.

new mobile interface
Designed with the habits of social and digital savvies in mind, HOOQ's latest release has a brand new real time content feed and personalized recommendation engine that makes it easier to discover new favorites. There's also an improved search engine, wish lists (for future viewing), and optimized content delivery for significantly faster app start and streaming start times.

In addition to being available on iOS, Android, web, Chromecast, and Android Set-top Box, HOOQ will now also be accessible on Airplay and mobile web. "For me, one of the most exciting new features is the real time content feed that highlights our most popular content and knowing what others are watching and which titles are trending!" revealed Cruz-Walker.

with fellow HOOQ users
It's easy to get HOOQ'd! Sign up on www.HOOQ.tv for a free trial and start binge watching! Subscriptions start from P149 a month and from as low as P59.00 a week. "You should not only have 30 days to decide if you want to subscribe. You should be able to take as long as you want. We're for emerging markets everywhere," described Bithos who expounded the sachet marketing concept as Filipino's propensity to buy, for example, a single cigarette rather than the whole pack. "We have reinvented the way users interact with premium content. It has been a fantastic ride [since HOOQ started] and it's only the beginning."

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