Times Internet, an Internet subsidiary of The Times of India Group, which manages some of the largest news websites in India like The Times of India, The Economic Times, Navbharat Times and Maharashtra Times has acquired a majority stake in Seoul based MX Player in an all-cash deal worth $200 million.
With this investment, Times Internet will be able to launch its over-the-top (OTT) video service which is expected to make a debut in the next few months.
MX Player is among the very few Android video player applications which support multi-core decoding. With multi-c0re decoding, you get fine video quality with small file sizes. However, the process requires a considerate amount of processing power to decode in real time.
MX Player is very popular in Asian countries of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran among others. MX Player has constantly been among the top 10 apps in India and among the top 20 most used apps it other countries. Around 63.6 million Android users have downloaded the app, of which, around 80 percent users use low-end smartphones.
Times Internet is currently testing its OTT app on a different version of MX Player, MX Player Online 2018 (beta). All the operations of the OTT app will be headed by Karan Bedi, the former COO of EROS. In 2015, the company launched Box TV in its very first attempt to enter the OTT space. However, the platform was shut down in 2015.
It is believed that, from $340 million in 2017, India’s online video industry is going to touch $1.6 million in revenue by 2022. Since a couple of years, a lot of major startups have taken a slide in video streaming industry. In 2016, Netflix and Amazon Prime also entered the competition along with local players, Star-owned Hotstar, Voot (Viacom 18) and OZee (Zee TV) to take an advantage of the increasing smartphone usage coupled with cheap data packs.
In the next three months, Jack Ma led Alibaba is also planning to launch its own OTT video service. Social media giant, Facebook is also planning to launch its original offering service in India shortly. Currently, Star India-owned video streaming app Hotstar holds the first position in OTT space in the country.