Times Internet buys the video app MX Player for 1000 crore INR. MX Player has garnered a lot of users in India and has been originated from Korea.
Times Internet Acquires MX Player
Times Internet, from the media firm Times Group has acquired the popular video app MX Player for Rs 1,000 crore that is $140 million. The company has not disclosed its stake but stated that it’s a majority percentage. Previously, the company started this venture, an OTT known as BoxTV.com. This closed down in 2016 after four years of working period.
MX Player’s services are originated from Korea but it has now become very popular in India for playing media files, for instance from SD cards on a phone. It is definitely a hit in India with a monthly user claim of 175 million. After this move, Times Internet is planning to introduce a streaming content service for MX Player users. According to the MX Player CEO, Karan Bedi, it is expected to go live before August. The company is planning to announce at least 20 original shows and more 50,000 content in multiple local languages in India during the 1st year.
Karan Bedi has been a long-time media executive and started the job at MX Player 8 months ago. He stated that the service will be freemium and will be targeted at the idea of providing a television alternative in India. As per him, the deal had been in negotiation for last one year, which validates a report from The Ken in January, breaking the first news of acquisition.
There are a lot of other video streaming apps in India. We have Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar, Jio TV from Reliance Jio and so on. However, the data from App Annie confirms that MX Player is very ahead of all the other available apps. The analytics firm has shown MX Player at almost 50 million daily users in June which is way ahead of Hotstar at 14.1 million, Jio TV at 7.4 million and others.
What the CEOs have to say!
Gautam Sinha, the CEO of Times Internet said, “MX Player, developed by South Korea-based app publisher J2 Interactive, has 350 million users in India, of whom 175 million use it every month, exceeding all other OTT platforms in the country, with over 80% of its users under the age of 34, Times Internet said in a statement. This base is more than double that of all other premium OTTs.”
He added, “With over 400 million internet users in India, India presents one of the biggest digital entertainment opportunities in the world. And yet today, most content available is either user-generated or repurposed from broadcast television,” said Sinha. “We are building a content experience with the quality of mainstream media, but designed specially and exclusively for Indian millennials that are digital-first.”
Karan Bedi, the MX Player CEO said, “The primary focus for original content will be long format shows that are 20 to 60 per episode, and 10 to 20 episodes per season. Our audience is under 35, and many don’t watch broadcast television. We are building a digital-first entertainment platform for this demographic.”
Times Internet MD Satyan Gajwani said, “Further down the line, we might include subscriptions to scale. Subscription is growing but it’s much much smaller today, what excites us is the idea we’ll have 100 million people streaming a show.”
MX Player will continue to offer its offline video player features to existing users.