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Amazon eyes streaming growth in India, acquires MX Player

E-commerce giant Amazon acquires key assets from Indian video streamer MX Player. The deal, valued under $100 million, is aimed to bolster Amazon's streaming service & target budget-conscious audiences in smaller towns.

MX Player bought by Amazon

In a move to strengthen its presence in the Indian market, e-commerce giant Amazon has acquired key assets from MX Player, a popular video streaming service. The deal, valued at less than $100 million, marks a significant shift for Amazon as it targets audiences beyond major cities.

Amazon acquires MX Player

While the exact details of the acquired assets are not public, it’s understood that Amazon won’t be taking over the entire MX Player company. This strategic partnership focuses on leveraging MX Player’s established brand and content library, particularly in smaller towns and cities. MX Player’s reputation for affordability and wide format compatibility aligns well with the needs of these demographics, where Amazon’s e-commerce platform is not yet as dominant.

The deal comes after nearly two years of discussions between the two companies. Previously valued at $500 million, MX Player had been exploring strategic options. Talks with Sony also surfaced, but ultimately fell through.

This acquisition is seen as a strategic move by Amazon to bolster its video streaming service, Prime Video, in India. Amazon has already been making efforts to broaden its appeal with affordable subscriptions and partnerships with local telecom operators. The addition of MX Player’s content library and user base strengthens Amazon’s position in the competitive Indian streaming market, currently led by Reliance and Disney.

MX Player, originally a South Korean video playback app, gained immense popularity in India due to its ability to play a wide range of video formats. This functionality catered perfectly to the large number of affordable Android smartphones used in the country. Times Internet, which acquired MX Player in 2018 for $140 million, recognized the platform’s potential and transformed it into a full-fledged streaming service with licensed content, originals, and even a short-video app (MX TakaTak) launched in the wake of TikTok’s ban.

It’s important to note that Amazon has confirmed its intention to retain the MX Player branding. This move suggests Amazon recognizes the value MX Player holds in the Indian market and plans to leverage its established brand recognition.

Overall, this acquisition signifies Amazon’s growing commitment to the Indian market, particularly its video streaming sector. By combining its resources with MX Player’s strengths, Amazon is positioned to become a major player in the race for Indian viewers. However, the long-term impact on MX Player’s content strategy and user experience remains to be seen.

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