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HOOQ First in World to Leverage Machine Learning to Localise All Content in India by the End of 2019

PR Newswire Asia Wednesday, 24 April 2019
HOOQ to leverage a year long R&D effort to utilise machine learning to deliver a truly localised video experience in India to generate "smart dubs" for all of its English-language content, by the end of 2019

SINGAPORE, April 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- *HOOQ*, Southeast Asia's largest video-on-demand service, today announced that it will be the world's first OTT service to localise its entire content library using machine learning and automated "smart dub" technology. HOOQ plans to localise English-language content for Indian audiences in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu by the end of 2019, to improve accessibility of content for the diverse Indian market.    

To amplify its efforts to deliver the best of international entertainment in India, HOOQ plans on becoming the first and only OTT-video service with all English-language content on the service available with both subtitles *and* audio dubbing in multiple Indian languages catered to the diverse Indian market.

Speaking about the announcement, *Zulfiqar Khan, Managing Director, HOOQ India, *said, "We want to ensure that consumers across India are able to watch everything from international blockbuster movies to their favourite English-language series' to amazing HOOQ Originals in a language that they know, understand and are comfortable with. Some people may have never even seen international content in their local language. We want to change that and become the service that expands the reach of international content into India like never before."

HOOQ, as part of a year-long research and development project - both internally and with partners - will begin to process content using proprietary technology that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) to create "smart dubs" from scratch. HOOQ will focus on updating content in three languages, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu to start with, with more to be announced later in the year.

As well as providing Indian consumers with more international and regional content in more languages, HOOQ is also focussing on bringing more HOOQ Originals to the platform, and offer more variety of content than ever before.

Since launching in 2015, HOOQ has grown its footprint across Southeast Asia and India. It is now the leading premium OTT service across Southeast Asia; in India, HOOQ continues to enhance its offering through a series of unique partnerships with market leading brands such as Airtel and Hotstar, which is a significant part of its business strategy.

*Peter Bithos, CEO, HOOQ,* said, "We have rapidly grown our consumer footprint across India and Southeast Asia through continual focus, a deep understanding of local markets as well as key partnerships with market leading companies in the telco, digital services and entertainment space. It is through these partnerships that we have been able to grow at scale. As such, we will continue to enhance our existing relationships and cultivate new ones with like-minded partners to deliver a rich and meaningful video experience for consumers in India, in a language of their choice."

In addition to international and Hollywood blockbusters, HOOQ users can watch their favourite TV series' with same-day telecasts as the United States, as a result of its strong partnerships with studios, production houses and content distributors. So fans of hit shows like The Big Bang Theory, The Flash and Supergirl, won't have to wait long before they can watch the latest episodes. HOOQ also offers the best of Asian content from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore, and includes popular titles such as Dear Nathan, Hello Salma, Norah and 7 Days.

HOOQ recently announced the winner of the inaugural HOOQ Filmmakers Guild initiative and a first-of-a-kind HOOQ Original Series, BHAK, which was filmed in India, and launches on HOOQ for all to enjoy from tomorrow.

*Notes to Editors*

HOOQ is available to view online from www.HOOQ.tv and as an app from the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Simply sign up and log in, to access HOOQ's extensive library of International and Asian hits.  

*ABOUT HOOQ*

HOOQ is the leading video-on-demand service for emerging markets in Asia, delivering over 12,000 hours of local, regional and Hollywood films, shows and live TV to its users anytime, anywhere and on any device. Started as a joint venture in January 2015 by Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros, HOOQ has built an entertainment destination deeply rooted in its understanding of consumers' needs and habits. HOOQ currently operates in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia and Singapore, with a combined population footprint of over 1.7 billion people.

For more information, visit HOOQ.tv

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*APPENDIX:*

In the last 12 months, HOOQ has dramatically increased its activities across the region, having secured a number of valued partnerships with leading digital disruptor, content, payment, and telecommunication providers.

*HOOQ 2018 / 2019 Milestones*

*April 2018:* HOOQ introduces daily pricing for as little as USD 0.25 cents
*April 2018:* HOOQ introduces Live TV in Indonesia where customers can watch local free-to-air channels, completely for free.
*June 2018: *HOOQ launches season 2 of the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild
*August 2018:* HOOQ introduces 'skinny bundles' into its existing premium offering where viewers can access over 20 Pay TV channels.
*September 2018: *HOOQ partners with Xiaomi, China's leading consumer technology company, to bring the big screen experience to Indonesia
*September 2018: *HOOQ launches Brata
*October 2018:* HOOQ partners with Hotstar, India's largest streaming platform to bring to Hotstar Premium customers access to over 4,500 hours of Hollywood content.
*December 2018: *HOOQ Originals win three awards at the Asian Academy Creative Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Actress in Leading Role
*December 2018: *HOOQ partners with OVO, Indonesia's leading mobile wallet where OVO customers can now access and pay for HOOQ within the OVO environment.
*December 2018: *HOOQ launches Cek Toko Sebelah The Series and Badak Family as a HOOQ Originals in Indonesia
*December 2018: *HOOQ announces partnership with Grab, Southeast Asia's leading online-to-offline platform where Grab customers will be able to access HOOQ within the Grab environment.
*February 2019: *HOOQ launches video tile within the Grab App in Indonesia. The service will be launching in Singapore, Philippines and Thailand later this year.
*February 2019: *HOOQ expands freemium layer in Indonesia and rolls out freemium layer in Singapore
*March 2019: *HOOQ launches Ulan, its first Original Movie in the Philippines
*March 2019: *HOOQ rolls out freemium layer in Thailand
*April 2019: *HOOQ launches Bhak, the winner of the inaugural HOOQ Filmmakers Guild initiative
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