Amazon is reportedly in discussions with Times Internet to acquire MX Player, one of India's largest video streaming services, in an effort to expand its entertainment presence in the overseas market.
The talks are ongoing and may not result in a deal, and the terms of the deal have not been finalised yet. The sources also indicated that at least two other players, including Zee-Sony, have expressed interest in acquiring MX Player, TechCrunch reported.
MX Player, which was acquired by Times Internet for $140 million in 2018, has gained wide popularity, particularly in India, for supporting a wide range of video formats and for its reliable performance on low-cost Android smartphones. The app, which has over 300 million users globally, has also expanded into original content and offers access to live cable TV channels for free, making most of its revenue from ads.
MX Player was among the first video apps to venture into the short-video format, capitalising on the opportunity created after TikTok was banned in India in mid-2020. MX Player later merged with ShareChat's Moj in a $900 million deal.
Times Internet, a subsidiary of Bennett Coleman and Company, which operates several properties, including the Times of India, Indiatimes, and Economic Times, has been divesting some of its businesses as it prepares for a major restructuring. Amazon has invested over $7 billion in India in the past decade and is fiercely competing for a piece of the Indian video market with Prime Video subscription and Prime membership offered at lower prices in India, as well as a free ad-supported video streaming service.
MX Player faces competition from YouTube, which dominates the video market in India with over 500 million monthly active users, and Disney's Hotstar, which has over 50 million subscribers and over 150 million monthly active users in the country. MX Player, which claims to have over 150 million active users in India, offers its premium offerings in many international markets and last raised a venture round in 2019, receiving an investment of $110.8 million.