Home Amazon buys parts of MX Player assets to boost India presence

Amazon buys parts of MX Player assets to boost India presence

Amazon has confirmed that it acquired parts of the Indian video streaming service MX Player, a move that is part of the e-commerce giant’s broader strategy to expand its reach and brand visibility in smaller cities and towns within a key international market.

Amazon has agreed to acquire certain assets from Times Internet, a major local media entity, although the deal has yet to be finalized.

The agreement places the value of MX Player at under $100 million, significantly below the $500 million valuation at which the streaming service last raised funds, according to a source who spoke with TechCrunch.

MX Player, which also receives backing from Tencent, will see many of its executives transition to Amazon once the acquisition is completed.

Why Amazon is acquiring parts of MX Player

This deal concludes almost two years of negotiations between the companies as they explored potential synergies among their assets. Over the past two years, Times Internet and its parent company, Times Group, have been actively looking to divest several of their digital assets. The agreement suggests that some of MX Player’s content may be eventually integrated into Amazon Prime.

“We are always looking for ways to introduce new products and services that help improve customers’ lives. We’re excited to continue to entertain India with the great local originals and exclusive content available across our Prime Video and miniTV services in India,” an Amazon spokesperson told ReadWrite. However, they reiterated that the transaction had not been completed.

Sony, while considering a merger of its Indian division with Zee, a media company, also showed interest in purchasing MX Player. However, issues with the Zee merger disrupted these plans, as reported by various informed sources.

MX Player enjoys considerable popularity in smaller Indian cities, contrasting with Amazon’s e-commerce service, which has primarily appealed to consumers in larger urban areas. According to TechCrunch, Amazon plans to maintain the MX Player brand.

Amazon is currently expanding its video streaming services in the country to reach beyond major cities. The company offers a Prime subscription for $9.50 per year, which includes a version of Prime Video. In addition, Amazon has established various partnerships with local telecom operators to include Prime Video in their tariff plans. In 2021, Amazon introduced a new free, ad-supported video streaming service in India.

Featured image: Canva / Amazon

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Suswati Basu
Tech journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her…

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