After multiple rounds of talks, Amazon India is believed to have acquired the OTT platform MX Player from Times Internet (TIL) by shelling out substantially less money than the last acquisition price.
The marked-down price is not known but it could be around USD 45-50 million, which is between Rs 350-Rs 400 crore. Times Internet (TIL) acquired MX Player for an estimated sum of Rs 1,000 crore in 2018.
Mails to MX Player CEO Karan Bedi, Times Internet and Vineet Jain, MD, Times Group, remained unanswered.
Amazon Prime Video shared their response early this week, saying: “We don’t comment on rumours or speculation.”
“A deal between Amazon and TIL in this regard has been finalised, which stipulates final payments of the deal should be completed by 30 June this year,” sources close to the development said.
The US-based eComm giant had roped in a leading consulting firm for due diligence regarding the deal.
MX Player CEO Karan Bedi is supposed to get about one-third of the deal amount, sources close to the development claimed. The rest of the amount will go to other shareholders. Bedi is likely to continue heading the platform for another year.
It is to be noted that MX Player was ranked as the third most downloaded OTT app globally in 2022 as per the State of Mobile 2023 report by data.ai. In India too, MX Player was the most downloaded app. However, the platform is being sold at nearly 25 per cent less than the price at which it was acquired four years ago.
Prime Video to grow 4-fold
Post the deal, Amazon Prime Video is set to be four times bigger in terms of consumer acquisition. Amazon has an estimated 28 million users in India, while MX Player has nearly 78 million users.
This deal has the potential to make India’s OTT war intense, especially at a time when the sector faces growth challenges, and with the Reliance Group throwing its hat in the game.
Viacom18 played a big gambit by streaming IPL for free on JioCinema, for users across all telecom networks, in a bid to acquire the maximum number of users, even as it has shelled out Rs 24,000 crore to acquire IPL’s digital media rights for five years.
History of MX Player
MX Player was launched as a video player on 18 July 2011, in Korea. In 2019, it was relaunched as an OTT platform with original programming.
When TIL acquired the platform, it was seen as a bold move, especially since the company’s previous OTT venture — BoxTV.com — was shut down in 2016, after four years of existence.
This time too, TIL, the digital arm of media conglomerate Times Group, decided to sell the OTT platform after running it for four years.