InMobi partners with Eros for OTT play


India’s OTT video viewership is expected to grow by 355 million by 2020 according to a Deloitte report.

Eros International PLC, a leading global company in the Indian film entertainment industry, has announced that ‘Eros Now’, its cutting-edge digital over-the-top (OTT) South Asian entertainment platform, has partnered with InMobi, a global provider of enterprise platforms for marketers.

According to a Deloitte report, India’s OTT video viewership is expected to grow by 355 million by 2020. With this partnership, Eros Now will open up avenues for both traditional and non-traditional brands to engage with their target audience. This is where InMobi comes in with its audience engagement technology.

Naveen Tewari, Founder and CEO, InMobi, said, “Our association with Eros Now marks an industry-first partnership in the OTT space, which is the next big thing after the app economy. It will be a trendsetter in many ways. Our distinction lies in our core business, which centres on the primary screen - mobile, making this an organic progression for us, and that’s where our decade-long expertise also comes at play.”

Naveen added that InMobi's full-stack mobile OTT solutions hinged on in-app, and its video-first platform will not only allow for deep brand integrations but will improve the overall efficacy of content monetisation, driven through Eros Now’s original video content.

Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO, InMobi

The association will enable advertisers to directly monetise on Eros Now’s video platform, which boasts of an audience of over a 100 million registered users, dedicated to Bollywood and movie streaming. This exclusive partnership will provide brands and advertisers in India an end-to-end playbook that spans innovative video and ad formats, dynamic in-content placement of high-quality movies, music videos and originals across devices.

In addition, Eros Now will also adopt InMobi’s disruptive mobile-first advertising platform to market content through the in-app video universe across India. It will unlock an avenue for brands to engage with their audiences on a native video platform hosting Bollywood and movie content, which until now had principally been out of the advertiser purview.

Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, Eros Digital, said, “With the advertising landscape transforming into immersive engagement, brands can now leverage deep storytelling to collaborate with the audience. Indians are spending much more time on their mobile devices than they did a few years ago, making it one of the most sought-after platforms for advertising.”

Mobile in-app advertising is a highly personalised segment, and by using InMobi’s technology and innovation, Eros Now will give advertisers access to creative optimisation, re-targeting and data-driven decision-making capability to run ads, and to be the market leader.

With this partnership, the two companies will work closely to devise a go-to-market strategy, offering integrated advertising and marketing solutions for Eros Now.

Think about two worlds - a world of subscription where no ads will be played and the world of free content whose business model is ads and engagement. In India, Eros Now, BigFlix, HotStar, SonyLiv, Zee5 and international players like Amazon Prime and Netflix are vying for an increasing consumer base

With their original content, Netflix and Amazon Prime have made a dent in the market. They also have the tech to stream high-quality videos and use enormous amounts of data sets to understand viewer likes and dislikes. In a subscription model, there are no ads displayed - like in Prime and Netflix. Others, however, follow the ad route, where content is made available for free, but ads are displayed every four minutes. Even YouTube has regional language content that is driven by ads.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the market in India is 90-million strong. Globally, the market just for the Indian diaspora is at least 30 million. According to Markets & Markets, the OTT business is $62 billion in size. Recently, even Walmart Inc announced that it is looking at launching a streaming content service.

For Indian players like Eros, the growth of digital services is the next big bet. KPMG’s Shreedhar Prasad, Partner & Head, Consumer Markets, explained, “We will see the younger generation, in the eighth standard, using mobile phones to consume content. Indians in cities will soon pay for content and a lot of video streaming businesses will see a growth curve.”

According to eMarketer, digital spends in India are Rs 18,000 crore in size, and with the InMobi-Eros combine, customer engagement with brands will be given a new lease of life.