Indian production house Eros Group is in preliminary talks with Apple and other prominent content distributors like Amazon and Netflix to sell its vast library of films and music, according to a Reuter’s report.
Global content streaming companies are looking at India’s growing market, vying to make inroads and trying to bulk up their Indian television, movie and music libraries to lure subscribers.
The Eros Now library includes a host of blockbusters from Bollywood, including box office hits such as Dabangg and historical movies like Bajirao Mastani. Launched in 2012, Eros Now has rights to over 5,000 movies in 10 Indian languages and over 250,000 audio tracks from 13 Indian music labels. It is accessible via internet-enabled devices and has 55 million registered users globally.
Netflix and Amazon came to India last year. Both the firms have come up with the Originals series, consisting of offerings exclusive to them, and are tying up with Bollywood superstars to increase their reach in Indian market. While Netflix has tied up with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainments, Amazon has struck a deal with Salman Khan.
Deal in Pipeline
The deal could be worth $1 billion, the Economic Times reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter. The Eros library, however, is worth less than $1 billion, the report quoted another source as saying. Apple, which has been planning to get into content programming for some time now to provided more value to their current Apple Music subscribers and to attract new customer, is unlikely to splurge that much on Indian content, it added.
The Mumbai-based Eros Group, whose Eros International Plc is based in New York, said in a statement to the publication: “We are not privy to any strategic discussions that our NYSE-listed parent company Eros International PLC may be having with various potential partners.” The shares of Eros International shot up by 16 per cent soon after the report of these talks came out. Netflix, Amazon and Apple declined to comment on the “rumours and speculation”.
The deal is expected to include Eros’ digital over the top (OTT) platform, according to the ET report. With OTT platforms, films and TV content can be viewed via internet without the need for users to sign up with a traditional cable or satellite TV provider. JM Financial is advising Eros on the deal.