Amazon is engaging with Times Internet to explore the acquisition of MX Player, one of the largest on-demand video streaming services in India, according to four sources familiar with the matter, as the American e-commerce group eyes expanding its entertainment ambitions in the key overseas market.
The deliberations are ongoing and may not materialize into a deal, three sources cautioned. The terms of the deal are yet to be finalized. Times Internet and Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sources requested anonymity discussing private matters.
At least two more players — including Zee-Sony — have expressed interest in acquiring the Times Internet-owned app, two sources said.
The deliberations are remarkable for MX Player, which was acquired by the Indian conglomerate Times Internet for $140 million in 2018. The video app, popular for supporting a wide range of video formats and reliability on low-cost Android smartphones, has expanded to original content in recent years and has amassed over 300 million users globally.
MX Player has gained wide adoption in markets such as India in part by offering its wide video catalog at no charge to consumers. Instead the service makes most of its revenue through ads.
MX Player was one of the earliest video apps to expand into short-video format after New Delhi banned TikTok in the country. MX Player eventually merged that business with ShareChat’s short-video offering Moz in a deal worth $900 million.
Amazon has been aggressively competing for a slice of the Indian video market. The e-commerce group offers Prime Video subscription (and Prime membership) at cutrate prices in India and also maintains a free, ad-supported video streaming service in the country.
This is a developing story. More to follow.