Amazon India is said to have paid significantly less than the previous acquisition price for OTT platform MX Player from Times Internet Ltd. (TIL). The reduced price is expected to be roughly $45-50 million, which is nearly 25% less than the estimated sum of Rs 1,000 crore paid by TIL for MX Player in 2018.
While Amazon and MX Player have remained tight-lipped about the deal, sources close to the development have confirmed that a deal has been finalised between the two companies, with final payments due by June 30 of this year.
According to data.ai’s State of Mobile 2023 report, MX Player was the third most downloaded OTT app globally in 2022. It was the most downloaded app in India. Following the transaction, Amazon Prime Video is expected to be four times larger in terms of consumer acquisition. In India, Amazon has an estimated 28 million users, while MX Player has almost 78 million.
This transaction has the potential to intensify India’s OTT battle, especially given the sector’s development concerns and the Reliance Group’s entry into the fray.
MX Player debuted as a video player in Korea in 2011, and it was relaunched in 2019 as an OTT platform with original programming. TIL’s acquisition of the platform was viewed as a risky move, especially given the company’s previous OTT endeavour, BoxTV.com, which was shut down in 2016 after four years of operation. TIL, the digital subsidiary of media behemoth Times Group, opted to sell the OTT platform again after four years of operation.
According to sources close to the situation, MX Player CEO Karan Bedi is expected to get approximately one-third of the deal value. The remainder will be distributed to other stockholders. Bedi is expected to lead the platform for another year.