MX Player, the newest entrant in the Indian video streaming market, is steadily making its way to the top. The Tencent-backed firm has been featured at the number one slot on Apple App Store’s list of top free apps. On Google Play Store, it secured the ninth position in the same category.
The app store rankings are based on frequency of downloads and usage. “This suggests that MX Player is the default video app for users in India,” said Karan Bedi, chief executive officer, MX Player.
MX Player is owned by Times Internet, which bought the platform from a South Korean company in June 2018 for $140 million. At the time, it was one of the most-widely used mobile video players in the world.
Using the core technology, Times Internet revamped the platform into in an OTT, or over the top video service, to enter the video-on-demand business which already had Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video making serious in-roads.
To be sure, MX Player is a mobile video player in international markets, and an OTT-cum-video player in India. The OTT service, currently available only in India, will soon be launched in the US, Canada, Bangladesh, including other geographies, where it is in beta phase, said Bedi.
MX Player is gaining traction among the Indian audience. “We see about 1.1-1.5 million installs each day globally,” said Bedi, adding that it currently sees 270 million monthly active users globally and 170 million in India.
MX Player OTT was formally launched in February 2019 while in May audio streaming was added through partnership with Gaana, a music streaming platform also owned by Times Internet. Few weeks ago, it also launched games on the app.
In October, China’s technology giant Tencent led a $110-million round in MX Player, establishing it as a serious rival to competition. The round valued the firm at $500 million. Tencent is also a major investor in Gaana.
Currently, the firm employs 300 people in offices across Mumbai, Delhi and Beijing.
MX Player competes with Netflix, Hotstar, Zee5, Amazon Prime Video, and a dozen other players, in a market where consumers are often drawn in by original TV programming. Netflix, the US major in video streaming, recently said it will spend $421 million for producing original content in India.
Bedi said the firm’s series Hello Mini, Immature, CheeseCake and recently launched Queen were huge hits with its audience. More original titles are in the pipeline.
According to a recent KPMG report, Indian OTT market is currently pegged at Rs 23,000 crore and is anticipated to touch Rs 62,000 crore by 2024.―Business Standard