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Now that we have Netflix, what will happen to Hooq and iFlix?

YOU GOT TECH - Abe Olandres (The Philippine Star) - January 24, 2016 - 9:00am

The entry of Netflix in the Philippines has placed a lot of pressure to existing players – iFlix and Hooq. Both services are barely a year in the country and are still struggling to gain a sizable market share.

This month, Netflix officially became available in the Philippines along with over 130 other countries worldwide. The service offers here tiered pricing from P370 for SD quality and one device, P460 for HD quality videos up to two devices and P550 per month for Ultra HD quality and up to  four devices.

The subscription fees are pretty much the same as in the US with $7.99 as the starting MSF.

The entry of Netflix in the Philippines has placed a lot of pressure to existing players, especially the likes of iFlix and Hooq. Both services are barely a year in the country and are still struggling to gain a sizable market share.

Netflix being the more widely known service has become an instant favorite. Even before its official entry in the Philippines, a number of subscribers already had access to Netflix by using proxies and using VPN services in order to watch movies and TV series in the US library.

A lot of people we talked to have been asking about the future of iFlix and Hooq in the country now that Netflix is already in play. Some thoughts I shared with them:

• The Netflix library in the Philippines is still considerably small with only about seven percent of the US library accessible to Philippine subscribers. It will take some time for Netflix to add more titles in their catalog.

• Netflix’s monthly subscription fees are still way more expensive compared to  iFlix at P129 and Hooq at P149.

• iFlix has the full support of PLDT and Smart while Hooq has the support of Globe Telecom. Their consolidated marketing effort will continue to attract new subscribers. These services should be able to leverage their partnership with the respective telcos to offer better or more affordable cost of access. We’ve already seen them doing it but with Netflix coming in, they’re more likely to ramp up the offerings.

• No single service has a clear advantage in terms of the library of movies and TV shows. Majority of the more popular titles are not yet available in their catalog and even the episodes of our favorite TV series are not that updated.

• Netflix has a slight disadvantage in terms of local content although they can easily compensate that with their own produced original shows.

There’s no clear winner for now. Ultimately, it’s the quantity and the quality of content that will drive more interest and eventually turn them to paying subscribers. In the meantime, subscribers will just gravitate to the service that provides them with the best value for their needs.

Netflix has the experience and did well in the US but we have yet to see if that will translate to the same results in the Philippines.

 

 

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