MX Player, the on-demand video streaming service owned by India’s conglomerate Times Internet, is expanding to more than half a dozen new international markets including the U.S. and the UK to supply more entertainment content to millions of people trapped in their homes.
The Singapore-headquartered on-demand video streaming service, which raised $111 million in a round led by Tencent last year, said it has expanded to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, and Nepal in addition to the U.S. and the UK.
Like in India, MX Player will offer its catalog at no charge to users in the international markets and monetize through ads, Karan Bedi, chief executive of the service, told TechCrunch in an interview.
The streaming service, which has amassed over 175 million monthly active users, is offering locally relevant content in each market, Bedi said. This is notably different from Disney’s Hotstar expansion into international markets, where it has largely aimed to cater to the Indian diaspora.
MX Player is not currently offering any originally produced titles in any international markets — instead offering movies and shows it has licensed from global and local studios — but the streamer plans to change that in the coming future, said Bedi.
Even as the expansion comes at a time when the world is grappling with containing and fighting the coronavirus outbreak, Bedi said MX Player had been testing the service in several markets for a few months.
“We believe in meeting this rapidly rising demand from discerning entertainment lovers with stories that strike a chord. To that end, we have collaborated with some of the best talent and content partners globally who will help bring us a step closer to becoming the go-to destination for entertainment across the world,” said Nakul Kapur, Business Head for International markets at MX Player, in a statement.
In India, MX Player has also bundled free music streaming (through Gaana, another property owned by Times Internet) and has introduced in-app casual games. Bedi said the company is working on bringing these additional services to international markets.
The streamer is now looking to expand to some nations in Middle East and South Asia, said Bedi.
More to follow…