Hooq, one of Netflix’s most prominent rivals in Southeast Asia and India, has filed for bankruptcy, reports Straits Times.

The Singapore-based company cited the brutal “competitive landscape” and changes in the media streaming industry for the shock move. In a statement provided to Technode Global, it explained: “Global and local content providers are increasingly going direct, the cost of content remains high, and emerging-market consumers’ willingness to pay has increased only gradually amid an increasing array of choices. Because of these changes, a viable business model for an independent, [streaming] distribution platform has become increasingly challenged.”

“As a result, Hooq has not been able to grow sufficiently to provide sustainable returns nor cover escalating content costs and the continuous operating costs.”

Started in January 2015, Hooq is a collaboration between Singtel, Singapore’s top telco, plus Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. Its main rivals are Netflix and iFlix.

The statement added that the service “has not secured additional funding from existing or new investors” – suggesting that majority owner Singtel has opted to cut its losses rather than give Hooq a bailout.

Tough room

Hooq has fallen down the app store rankings during the coronavirus crisis that has many people cooped up at home, according to App Annie data. Netflix and iFlix’s apps, in contrast, have become even more popular in the past few weeks.

Proving how tough the streaming market is, iFlix doesn’t seem to be in great shape either, judging by its delayed IPO.

Hooq remains online for the moment, with no apparent disruption to subscribers. A shareholder meeting plus a creditor meeting on April 13 are the next steps in the liquidation process.