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HOOQ to localise content for Indian audiences

The languages included are Hindi, Tamil and Telugu by the end of 2019.

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MUMBAI: 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 today. 

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