I rate MX Player as one of the most fascinating media stories ever.
Times Internet (TI) was struggling to get a foothold in the OTT space. Its offering, Box TV, launched in 2013 had failed and was put down in 2016 just when the online video space was taking off.
So, in June 2018, in a brilliant lateral move, it plonked down about Rs 1,000 crore to acquire a video player, MX Player, which was hugely popular especially among Indian Android users. TI has used this huge user base as a foundation to launch an assault on the OTT space.
You’ve never heard of a platform claiming 175 million unique users before launch, have you? I certainly haven’t. That’s MX Player in India for you.
With this kind of asset to start with, what is the nature of the marketing challenge for Abhishek Joshi? Apart from getting in new viewers, he has to ensure that people who have downloaded the app try out the video streaming service. And, as important, the new service should not put off people who only want MX, the original video player.
It is a unique situation and I for one will look forward to watching it unfold in the coming months.