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Eros Now inks licensing deal with Baidu-backed streaming service iQiyi

Sohini Mitter
11th Sep 2018
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Eros will make available hundreds of popular Indian movie titles on the iQiyi platform starting October.

Eros International’s OTT platform Eros Now has signed a content licensing deal with Chinese video-streaming site iQiyi (also known as the Netflix of China). As part of the deal, Eros will make available its Indian movie catalogue on iQiyi starting October.

NASDAQ-listed iQiyi is backed by China’s search giant Baidu and is one of the most popular streaming platforms in the country. It is estimated to have over 500 million monthly active users who spend six billion hours on the platform each month. Eros Now, meanwhile, had about eight million paid subscribers for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

Interestingly, iQiyi had inked a similar content partnership with Netflix back in 2017. Because international content services are barred from directly operating in China, they have to forge local partnerships such as this to enter the market. Eros Now becomes the first South Asian service to be available in China.

The company stated that it will make 100 Indian movie titles, including popular Bollywood ones like Dangal and Devdas, available on iQiyi by next month, and take that number up to 1,000 by next year.

In a statement to the media, Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, Eros Digital, said,

“The association with iQiyi represents a vital step forward for us as we continue to explore opportunities to expand our content offering globally. China has emerged as an important market and a major box office earner for Indian films in recent years, and it is a very significant milestone for us to further expand Eros’ dominant content distribution network through Eros Now’s alliance with iQiyi.”

Last week, Eros Now also announced a strategic distribution partnership with Xiaomi to expand into the Indonesian market. The service will now come pre-installed in Mi TVs, and users will have access to over 11,000 Bollywood and Indian regional language films, music videos, original shows, and so on at a monthly subscription of $7.99.

Prior to that, in June, Eros Now had also partnered with Sri Lanka-based telco Dialog Axiata to launch its service in the island nation. More than 20,000 hours of original Indian content is being distributed via the Dialog Viu app available on Google Play Store.

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