“A million stories for a billion people” Peter Bithos
What do you think is happening to the industry?
On the biggest level, we see two worlds evolving; the AVOD (advertisingassisted) world, mainly focused on free-to-air (FTA) content that gets re-broadcast or carried online. The other is the “paid-for space”, premium content that requires subscription.
On AVOD, I think that’s where the most intense action is right now. The AVOD space is where the vertically-integrated plays have the advantage. As that space evolves and you’re not an owner of content at scale, you’re going to struggle. In the subscription space, what is necessary to win is a whole different thing. You have to know payments and more customer-focused, because at the end of the day the customer is the one paying.
I don’t think any single verticallyintegrated player himself will have all the content that customers will be willing to pay for. Hence, you get into more platforms that offer a distribution plan and that’s where we (HOOQ) fit in.
I think it’s too early to tell, but we’re positioned very well. What we’ve learned is the amount of business models required to “win” in this space is enormous, and I think most people starting out today will struggle. There’s a lot of learning that has gone on for players that have been doing it for a while.
What is the strength of HOOQ?
There are three key strengths.
First, I think it’s our content value proposition – the best of Hollywood and local. There are niche categories such as Japanese anime and more, but when it comes to a broad-based play, local and Hollywood content together is a very powerful offer. One without the other is difficult to hit a mass market. You can take some of the niche content out of the equation, but if you don’t have these two combinations, you’re not going to win the scale.
For example, we just launched in Indonesia in April. We launched with four different studios, announcing exclusive content from day one. We launched with about 2,500 hours of local Indonesian content. We have signed with thousands of locals, hours ahead of the launch.
Our content offering is quite large and focused on the best of Asia and Hollywood.
Second is our distribution strength. We’ve learned a lot about distribution and we have fantastic distribution partners in every geographical location that we operate in. Making distribution partners work at scale is very difficult. There are only so many great distribution partners to go around.
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