Amazon in talks to buy MX Player
In an effort to expand its entertainment ambitions in the key overseas market, Amazon is negotiating with Times Internet to buy MX Player, one of the largest on-demand video streaming services in India, according to Tech Crunch, quoting four sources familiar with the matter.
Though the procedure has started, the deal may not materialise, as per reports. According to the reports, Zee-Sony has also expressed interest in buying MX Player.
In 2018, Times Internet acquired MX Player for $140 million. With more than 300 million users globally, the video app supports a wide range of video formats and is reliable on low-cost Android smartphones.
As a result of its wide video catalogue that includes access to live cable TV channels at no charge, MX Player has gained wide adoption in markets such as India. Ads are the main source of revenue for the service.
MX Player earlier planned to expand into the short video app format, taking advantage of the opportunity created in the aftermath of banning Tiktok in the country in 2020. In a $900 million deal, MX Player acquired ShareChat's short-video offering Moj.
In addition to Times Internet, Bennett Coleman operates more than three dozen properties, including Times of India, Indiatimes, and the business newspaper Economic Times.
Amazon, which has deployed over $7 billion in India in the past decade, has long been aggressively competing for a bigger pie of the lucrative Indian video market.
According to mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower, Google’s YouTube dominates the video market in India with about half a billion monthly active users in the country. Netflix and Prime Videos have fewer than 40 million monthly active users, whereas MX Player counts India as the largest market as it competes with YouTube and Disney’s Hotstar with over 50 million subscribers and 150 million active users monthly, respectively.
MX Player claims to have over 150 million active users in India and offers its premium services in various foreign countries. The company last raised capital in 2019, when Tencent led a financing round in which it secured an investment of $110.8 million.