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Times Internet-Owned MX Player Debuts Original Content

Popular OTT video player, MX player, has launched five original web series in India to grab a wider slice of the video-on-demand market. Last year, Times Internet has acquired MX player in a $144 Mn deal, in order to re-enter the Indian over-the-top (OTT) segment.

Supported by advertisements, MX player will be available for free to its users. This could be a good initial strategy for price-sensitive Indian consumers. For now, the other popular players in the OTT segment like Hotstar, Netflix, Jio Prime and Amazon Prime are offering paid content with monthly subscriptions ranging from INR 199 to INR 800.

At the same time, these companies are forming partnerships with local internet service providers and telecom companies such as Airtel and Jio to woo Indian consumers with freemium subscription plans.

Apart from offering its content for free, MX player has claimed to have sourced licensed content of over 100K hours from various content creators and partner platforms such as Alt Balaji, TVF, Arre and SonyLIV. “As more people move towards consuming content online, we want to create digital-first stories that appeal not only to the urban audiences but also much beyond,” MX Player CEO, Karan Bedi said.

The five new MX original series launched are Aafat, Hey Prabhu, TVF’s ImMature, Lots of Love (Tamil & Telugu) and Famously Filmfare. Ranked among top 10 Indian apps on Google Play Store, MX player has over 70 Mn daily active users (DAUs) and 650 Mn downloads worldwide. On its new app, the company has integrated offline video playing capabilities, online streaming and music streaming supported by Gaana.

With players like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar fighting for attention with broadcast TV, Indian OTT segment has started focussing on creating original content in regional languages to be accessible to Tier 2 cities.

Last week, US-based Amazon Prime Video announced six new original series in India. By the end of 2017, Prime had captured about 10% of the total OTT market with over 610K subscribers, according to London-based IHS Markit.

According to the Boston Consulting Group report, revenues from OTT content have seen a CAGR of over 40% in the period of 2005-2017 and are predicted to grow by 20% in the period 2017-2023.

In a joint report, FICCI and EY has predicted that the over-the-top (OTT) subscription revenue in India may reach $285.8 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr) by 2020.

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