Hoichoi to ramp up original content offering; expands into Bangladesh, Middle East

MUMBAI: SVF Entertainment backed Bengali video streaming platform Hoichoi has big-bang plans to scale up its original content. Hoichoi plans to launch 30 original shows and 12 original films which translate to 100+ hours of original content in the coming year.

The platform also plans to beef up its content library to approximately 2800 hours in the next one year by acquiring 200 Bengali movies, 12 of which will be world digital premieres. It will also venture into kids content.

The short and long-form content will be across genres including fantasy, dark comedy, musical thriller, sitcom, travelogue, mystery, paranormal drama, kids, treasure hunt, psychological horror, and detective erotica to be created by top-notch production houses and directorial talent.

Apart from the content initiatives, Hoichoi has also forayed into Bangladesh and UAE markets to reach out to a wider audience. It has also introduced an industry first offline payment mechanism ‘Hoichoi Top Up Card’. Furthermore, the platform has also introduced ‘Pay Per View’ model which is a first in the Bengali digital entertainment space.

Hoichoi, which has completed one year, has said that users have streamed over 240 million minutes of content on the platform. The average time spent per user per day is 60 minutes.

Hoichoi co-founder Vishnu Mohta stated that the platform wants to cater to the 250 million plus Bengalis living worldwide and expanding our footprint into Bangladesh and the Middle East is an important step in that direction.

“These are markets with a potential of more than 180 million customers. While expansion into Bangladesh through local payment gateways, is a natural decision to reach a wider audience, entry into the Middle East is aimed at connecting with the huge migrant Bengali population living in the Arabian Peninsula nation,” Mohta said.

He also informed that the Hoichoi will soon launch its first web series for the Bangladesh audience. Titled ‘Dhaka Metro’, the series will be directed by Amitabh Reza Chaudhuri – Bangladesh’s award-winning director.

Hoichoi co-founder and director Mahendra Soni said that almost 40% of the platform’s audience comes from non-urban areas which is why it decided to emulate the successful telecom model and introduce Hoichoi Top-Up cards to make it convenient for our customers to subscribe to Hoichoi.

“This offline payment mechanism is never heard of before in the OTT industry and will help us reach the masses in Tier II and Tier III cities. One can simply purchase the Hoichoi Top Up Cards available for subscribing to our 3 months, 6 months and 12 months plans from the nearest retailer and access the largest collection of the best in Bengali entertainment on Hoichoi without having to do any online financial transaction,” he elaborated.

Hoichoi Director and co-founder Shrikant Mohta said that the decision to adopt the ad-free SVoD model was deliberate in order to provide the uninterrupted entertainment experience to the audience.

The platform is also venturing into transaction VoD model by allowing users to pay only for the content that they want to watch. “We are now introducing the ‘Pay Per View’ feature as part of the TVoD model. We will be releasing movies on Hoichoi very soon after their theatrical release and the viewers will have the option to pay for the content on a-la-carte basis,” he stated.

Other key initiatives by Hoichoi include the option to have Bengali app and website interface along with the existing English one. Some of the original shows will be dubbed in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Arabic. It will also venture into merchandise to take the brand Hoichoi offline.

Hoichoi, which means non-stop excitement, currently has a library of over 1400 hours of content including 500+ Bengali movies, 50+ hours of exclusive Original Web Series (22 shows streaming now) and 1000+ songs to serve the entertainment needs of Bengali audiences globally.

It also launched its Fire TV and Apple TV apps for the TV viewing audience and will soon offer Roku TV access. Hoichoi is powered by ViewLift, the international content distribution platform, and Amazon Web Services, world’s leading cloud computing solution provider which enables subscribers to stream videos seamlessly.

Hoichoi has three subscription packs priced Rs 149 (3 months), Rs 249 (6 months), Rs 399 (12 months). The international rates are $8.99 per month and $79.99 annually.

The upcoming 30 original shows are as follows: