Battle for online video and music streaming is getting intensified in India as interest of media and entertainment conglomerates, telcos and digital OTT companies is growing extensively.
After Amazon and Netflix aggressive bets in the segment, Apple Inc said to be in talks with Eros Group to buy complete content library of its films and music for around $1 billion. The content company is reportedly began parallel discussion for possible buyout with Netflix and Amazon.
“Discussions are on to monetise the library. And we are soon going to make announcements,” said an official directly involved privy with the talk to the Economic Times. Sources also indicate that while discussions were on, it may take some time to get through.
Eros Group is the largest movie producer in India. Eros co-produces, acquires and distributes Indian language films in multiple formats worldwide. It holds rights to over 10,000 films, out of which around 5,000 films are owned for lifetime, across Hindi and regional languages.
The company claims to have 2.9 million paid subscribers and over 100 million registered subscribers. In the past, Eros had decided to move away from large-scale acquisitions and focus on co-productions as it faces cash crunch.
Buying Eros makes sense for Apple, Netflix and Amazon Prime make sense because of depth and quality offered by the Mumbai-based company. If any of the three companies buy Eros, it will translate them into a string player in the OTT space.
Recently, the OTT space has been making headlines. Last year, Netflix clinched deal with Shah Rukh Khan’s production company Red Chillies Entertainment. The deal gives exclusive right to stream the superstars’ videos and movies on its network. It also announced two new original series – ‘Selection Day’ and ‘Again’ for Indian audience.
Following Netflix’s move, earlier this month, Amazon announced a worldwide exclusive content deal with Bollywood star Salman Khan Ventures.
Meanwhile, home-grown production company – Balaji Telefilms is also planning to produce content exclusively for its digital subscription platform, ALT Balaji.
Besides Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar and ALT Balaji, Viacom 18 and Zee TV have also entered digital streaming space with Voot and OZee respectively.