It is reported that Amazon India has acquired the OTT platform MX Player from Times Internet Ltd. (TIL) after a series of negotiations. The acquisition was made at a lower price than what was previously paid for the platform.
It is unclear what the exact discounted price is, but it may be around $45-50 million, equivalent to Rs 350-Rs 400 crores.
MX Player was purchased by Times Internet Ltd (TIL in 2018 for approximately Rs 1,000 crore. The emails sent to Karan Bedi, CEO of MX Player, and Vineet Jain, Managing Director of Times Group, have not received a response.
Earlier this week, Amazon Prime Video responded by stating –
“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”
According to insiders –
“A deal between Amazon and TIL in this regard has been finalized, which stipulates final payments of the deal should be completed by June 30 this year.”
The e-commerce company based in the US hired a top consulting firm to conduct due diligence on the deal.
According to insiders, Karan Bedi, the CEO of MX Player, is expected to receive approximately one-third of the deal’s value. The remaining sum will be distributed among other shareholders. Bedi is expected to remain in charge of the platform for another year.
According to the State of Mobile 2023 report by data.ai, MX Player was the third most downloaded OTT app worldwide in 2022. In India, it was the most downloaded app. Despite this success, the platform is currently being sold for nearly 25% less than its acquisition price four years ago.
Prime Video to grow 4-fold
After the deal, Amazon Prime Video is expected to gain four times more users. Currently, Amazon has approximately 28 million users in India, while MX Player has nearly 78 million users.
At a time when the OTT industry is facing growth challenges and with the Reliance Group entering the game, this deal could increase competition and intensify the OTT war in India.
Viacom18 took a bold move by offering free streaming of IPL on JioCinema to users from all telecom networks, with the aim of acquiring the highest number of users. This was despite spending Rs 24,000 crore to secure the digital media rights of IPL for the next five years.
History of MX Player
On July 18, 2011,MX Player was introduced as a video player in Korea. It was later reintroduced in 2019 as an OTT platform that features original content.
When TIL purchased the platform, it was considered a daring decision, particularly as their prior venture, BoxTV.com, had been closed down in 2016 after existing for four years. Similarly, TIL, which is the digital department of media giant Times Group, opted to sell the OTT platform after operating it for four years.
This deal between Amazon India and Times Internet Ltd. is expected to bring new opportunities to the OTT industry, increase competition and help grow the industry further. With this deal, Amazon Prime Video is expected to gain more subscribers and intensify its presence in India’s OTT space. The future of this sector remains to be seen.
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