Even though OTT (Over The Top) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar etc had gained some traction in Indian Market in last 5 years, video-streaming remained popular among urban youth. But the Covid pandemic and associated lock down has benefitted OTT’s the most and they have thrived in past months. It is attracting more and more players in entertainment industry to consider or upscale their efforts in digital platforms. Eros Now, the OTT platform of Eros International Media, is also eyeing this huge opportunity.
Eros Now has over 188 million subscribers worldwide out of which around 27 million are paid subscribers. The Eros Now subscription works as a regular freemium model; Eros Now Prime is for the top of the pyramid. Their most popular plan seems to be the Rs 99 per quarter which is bundled to a YouTube Music subscription. There is partnership with Visa & Free charge providing 50% & 25% discounts to customers on annual subscription.
Last month Eros Now has merged with STX Entertainment to create Eros STX Global Corporation, which is expected to trade in the NYSE, once the required formalities are over. The merger with STX Entertainment which is one of Hollywood’s fastest-growing independent media company provides a unique opportunity to plan, develop and distribute premium Bollywood and Hollywood content to world audience.
Original content is going to be an important part of the growth strategy, since it has a competent and dynamic movie studio in its disposal. The access to the best in all realms of movie making when coupled to the STX merger provides a unique opportunity for the platform to grow its OTT platform using superior content. The $600 million in cash expected to be available as part of the merger would help to develop and produce content in grand scale.
There are efforts to partner with global big weights Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google/YouTube etc to distribute the own content. Eros Now Prime already offers premium English content, in partnership with the likes of NBC Universal, Comcast, and others, along with original content. At the same time, a partnership with Microsoft is ongoing which aim to build a new AI-enabled OTT platform, which will be unique and provide an edge in the existing market. There are efforts to launch an advertising-led model for mass content also.