From the moment you wake up, your smartphone is probably the first thing you pick up, (since you probably use it as an alarm clock) and the last thing you put down (as a flashlight or night lamp) before going to sleep.
The longest time you probably are away from your mobile phone is when you are taking a bath and it’s only because you still don’t have a waterproof phone.
And with the worsening traffic and daily commute, people are using their smartphones even more to entertain themselves by watching their favorite movies and TV series on their mobile screens.
With this continued rise in mobile phone usage, HOOQ, Asia’s first and largest premium video-on-demand service, rebuilds its app, and presents an interface that’s been redesigned for a truly intuitive mobile experience.
HOOQ fans can look forward to a new app interface that boasts a mobile first UX that has been built from extensive customer beta testing and usability research to derive a customer-centric experience, given that over 80 percent of customers are consuming HOOQ on their mobile devices.
Designed with the habits of the social and digital natives in mind, this new mobile-first release boasts a brand new real time content feed and personalized recommendation engine that makes discovering new favorites easier than ever.
“For the past 20 months or so since we launched in the Philippines, we have been studying the habits and usage of all our subscribers, and used what we found out into redesigning our app,” Peter Bithos, CEO at HOOQ, told Manila Standard in an exclusive interview held at the Karrivin Plaza last week.
“The first thing we found out is that for mobile phone users, its more natural to swipe up and down, rather than left or right, just like they do on Facebook, so now instead of swiping sideways to view content, all they have to do is flick up or down to browse through our vast library of films.”
“The second is the placement of three tabs at the bottom part of the screen—Discover, Browse and Me. The Discover tabs lets you scroll down almost endlessly as you look for a show or movie that interests you. Browse places these films in separate categories such as Hot and Trending, Super Hero Sensations Hollywood Classics, Top Pinoy, Anime, Korean, Bengali and a lot more. And finally, Me is allows you to changes settings, view your downloaded movies, favorites, etc.”
“And finally we added a picture in picture or PIP feature so you can watch a movie or show and search for the next show you’d want to watch without having to close the screen or go back to a previous window,” explained Bithos.
Additionally, there is an improved search engine, wish lists (for future viewing) and optimized content delivery for significantly faster app start and streaming start times.
The new app has been in development by HOOQ’s in-house team for nearly nine months and is backboned by a new back-end framework focused on a faster and higher quality streaming experience for the customer. In addition to the current support of iOS, Android, web, Chromecast and Android Set-top Box, HOOQ are also available on Airplay and mobile web as part of this launch.
‘We know that our customers are mostly enjoying HOOQ on their mobile devices so it was a natural decision that we enhanced the entire HOOQ platform to give our customers a best in class mobile-first experience. 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!’ said Jane Cruz-Walker, country manager of HOOQ Philippines.
Hollywood or Pinoy
How many episodes can you watch in 30-days? Well, apparently not as much as you’d think (or want), and by the time you’ve discovered a TV series worth (binge) watching, chances are, your free trial is over, and you have no choice but to sign up.
But with HOOQ’s new ad-free “freemium” model you don’t have to subscribe in order to watch the pilot episodes of all the TV series available on HOOQ.
This first of its kind hybrid model allows customers to sample a premium service at no cost. Pilot episodes of all TV series will now be free for all registered users even after their free trial period has ended. Customers can now catch pilot episodes from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Devious Maids, The Mentalist, Castle to Alyas Robin Hood, Walang Hanggan and #Jadine whenever they hit the service. This extended sampling gives the customers the power to decide if they would like to continue to watch the rest of series before they pay for the subscription.
Walker said they are very excited to introduce this hybrid model as it gives customers more control over their purchase decision. “This new hybrid model is a result of what we have learnt over the past year after studying usage patterns and speaking to numerous customers and understanding what they want in a video-on-demand service.”
“At HOOQ, we don’t want to pressure our subscribers during the 30-day period, so with our new “freemium” service, users can watch more than 200 pilot episodes of both local and international TV series, and subscribe when they’ve found a show they want to watch,” notes Bithos.
“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’, he added.
“The key driver of any video-on-demand service is their content and we are confident that our offering will keep our customers HOOQ’d month after month!”
The reveal of the app likewise coincided with the launch of HOOQ’s newest campaign called HOOQTime and the introduction of its newest ambassador, former Miss World Megan Young and the new TVC which features Jeron Teng, Direk Erik Matti and Lourd Ramos and other celebrities.
Like most millennials, Young admitted she easily got “hooked” after being introduced to the VOD service. “It’s very convenient since I could catch up and watch my favorite TV series whenever I’m travelling or waiting for my take.” She mentions Encantadia as her top favorite, as well as Scandal and Revenge among her favorite shows.
To make HOOQ even more accessible, the VOD service even offers “weekly packs” for as low as P59.00 for seven days.
We’re the first to offer this kind of service in Asia, and probably the world, said Bithos who is quite familiar with the Filipino market having worked for Globe Telecom in the past citing his familiarity with the Filipino term “tingi” or our penchant for sachets.
Ready to get HOOQ’ed? Sign up today on www.HOOQ.tv for a free trial. Monthly subscriptions start from P149.00. Globe Postpaid customers can get up to 45 days of free trial with Globe GoSURF 99 and below, and up to 90 days of free trial for all mobile customers availing of GoSURF 299 and up. Broadband customers also get HOOQ for free on Globe Home Broadband. Once the trial period expires, GoSURF customers can continue enjoying HOOQ at P149.00 subscription fee monthly charged to your Globe bill. For all other subscribers, you can either pay the P149.00 monthly subscription fee through credit card or charge it to your Globe bill by texting HOOQ149 to 8888.
HOOQ is a start-up joint venture established in January 2015 by Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. It currently operates in the Philippines, Thailand, India and Indonesia. Visit www.hooq.tv for more information.