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Xiaomi launches content streaming services with Mi Music and Mi Video apps

Sohini Mitter
3rd May 2018
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The 'freemium' content available in over 13 Indic languages is restricted to Xiaomi handsets for now. 

After emerging as the most dominant player in the domestic smartphone market over the last two quarters, Xiaomi is now rolling out value-added services to woo Indian consumers.

At the recently held Mi Pop event in Mumbai, Xiaomi unveiled its Mi Music and Mi Video apps that will allow users to stream music and videos over the web. Unlike other content streaming services, however, Mi Music and Mi Video are restricted to Xiaomi handset users only.

Mi Music and Mi Video apps come pre-installed in Xiaomi phones and have now been refurbished with local audio and video content from streaming platforms including Hungama (in which Xiaomi had invested back in 2016), SonyLIV, Voot, Hotstar, YouTube, and others.

Mi Music houses over 10 million “freemium” songs in more than 13 Indic languages. The app also allows users to play songs stored on their devices. It even has a ‘Dynamic Lyrics’ feature that is likely to appeal to karaoke lovers.

Xiaomi revealed that Mi Music has seven million daily active users and is one of the most popular apps on the MIUI platform.

Mi Video, meanwhile, brings the entire MiTV content library to Xiaomi smartphones. It includes over 500,000 hours of content across 15 Indian languages (including subtitles) and supports 12 most popular video formats. Xiaomi says that 80 percent of the content on Mi Video is free.

Manu Jain, VP of Xiaomi and MD of Xiaomi India, said,

“Xiaomi is much more than just a smartphone brand. We are an internet company with large number of internet services.. We at Xiaomi India are fully committed to launching many more India specific Internet services in India.”

Xiaomi’s diversification from a pureplay products company to an integrated products-and-services one was almost inevitable, given the success it has had in India. In less than four years, it managed to dislodge Samsung as the leading smartphone vendor in the country, and now owns 31 percent of its market. In the budget segment, Xiaomi’s Redmi series dominates all other handsets.

Now, the Chinese company is betting on services to drive additional revenues, especially from its loyal customer base. This is similar to the Apple model, wherein the iPhone-maker garners significant sales from services like Apple Music, iTunes, App Store downloads, etc.

Also, Mi Music and Mi Video come at a time when India’s content-streaming space is peaking with a plethora of homegrown and international services on the offer. Mi Music launches a few months after Amazon Prime Music rolled out, and shortly before Spotify’s impending India launch.

Both Mi Music and Mi Video apps are in the beta stage and the final build is expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks. Xiaomi has announced that it will keep adding new content and features to both apps depending on India’s usage trends and habits.

Elsewhere in the world, Xiaomi filed for an IPO at a potential valuation of $100 billion. It is the biggest IPO since Alibaba went public in 2014. Bloomberg reported that Xiaomi could be looking to raise at least $10 billion. An official statement is awaited.

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