Times Internet – an Internet subsidiary of The Times of India Group, under which some of the largest websites in India, The Times of India, The Economic Times, Navbharat Times and Maharashtra Times, operate. It is one of the largest Indian digital networks based on traffic and revenue (behind Google, Facebook, and Yahoo). It operates 30+ digital businesses. Keeping in track with its history, Times Internet is all set to launch its OTT Video Services and has acquired South Korea based MX Player for the same.
Times Internet has acquired a majority stake in Gangnam (Seoul) based MX Player for about USD 200 million, as per The Ken (Paywall). According to the reports that have come in, the deal was in all cash and the investment is expected to help Times Internet to launch its over-the-top (OTT) video service.
The acquisition will enable Times Internet to take yet another shot at the OTT space, something that it tried with BOX TV, one of India’s earliest subscription-based video on demand (S-VOD) services. Times Internet had to shut it down in 2016 on account of poor subscription response.
However , according to a report by Media Partners Asia (MPA), the Indian online video market is poised to increase from USD 340 million in 2017 to USD 1.6 billion by 2020, growing at a compound growth rate of 35%. One of the biggest reasons behind this growth has been increased digital penetration and adoption of smartphones and the Internet.
Global players like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, both of which were launched in India in 2016 are the market leaders for this space. The space is also abode to smaller platforms like Viacom 18-owned VOOT, Spuul (which does not offer English language content) and OZee (by Zee TV). Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has also announced plans to launch a OTT video service in India over the next three months.
By acquiring MX player, Times Internet is not just looking to make a play for the overcrowded OTT segment but also add a hefty number of subscribers from countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran among others where the player is popular.