MX Player seeks funding amid acquisition roadblock with Amazon

MX Player, the popular video streaming platform owned by Times Internet Ltd, is currently on the lookout for funding options after its acquisition talks with Amazon Inc. came to an unexpected halt.

According to reports, anonymous insiders familiar with the matter revealed that MX Player, facing financial constraints, is now seeking external funding to sustain its operations in the highly contested Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVoD) market. With multiple players vying for attention in this dynamic arena, MX Player is challenged to stay afloat and maintain its relevance.

Having faced lacklustre results from its blind customer acquisition strategy, the platform is now taking a strategic shift by focusing on content syndication through partnerships instead of investing in original content creation. This move aims to optimize resources and improve its offerings to attract a broader audience and boost engagement.

Reportedly, Amazon had placed demanding criteria for the deal, including stringent requirements for viewership, engagement, and daily and monthly active users.

Recently, MX Player collaborated with DistroTV, an independent, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) app, offering an app-in-app integration. This partnership allows MX Player users in India to access over 270 global channels, including nearly 180 Indian channels, covering news, sports, movies, entertainment, lifestyle content, and music, all for free.

MX Player, originally developed by a South Korean firm as a media player for downloaded videos, was acquired by Times Internet in 2018 for ₹1,000 crore. Following the acquisition, it was transformed into an ad-supported video streaming application. The company previously raised approximately $111 million in funding led by Chinese Internet giant Tencent in 2019, but has struggled to generate enough cash for expansion in recent times.

Times Internet has been divesting some of its businesses, including selling MX Takatak to ShareChat in February 2022, Dineout to Swiggy in May in a stock deal, and MensXP and iDiva, along with influencer marketeer Hypp, to Mensa Brands in December of the same year.

The AVoD streaming space in India has undergone significant changes, with new players like JioCinema offering content for free, alongside Amazon’s own free streaming service miniTV, and Disney+Hotstar providing premium sports events at no cost to mobile users. Additionally, the industry faces substantial losses, with digital advertising dominated by Google and Facebook, claiming a significant portion of ad revenues.

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