MX Player rolls out 'watch now pay later' feature to attract paid users

The consumers can choose to pay Rs 299 later if they opt for the platform's ad-free subscription option, which was launched only four months ago.

MX Player, run by Times Internet, rolled out a 'watch now, pay later' option for its subscription offering MX Gold. The plan costs Rs 299 and users can opt to pay later after watching the content.

The service will be offered through Paytm Postpaid, while the over-the-top (OTT) entertainment platform is also in talks with other fintech players that can also offer the pay later service.

"Entertainment is a planned as well as an impulse purchase. So, we thought instead of making users pay upfront every time, we give them an option to pay later," says Abhishek Joshi, business head, SVOD, MX Player told YourStory in an interaction.

The development was first reported by The Economic Times, which also comes under the Times Internet umbrella.

MX Player is an OTT platform which offers shows and movies, while monetising through advertisements. Since the last four months, the platform has rolled out MX Gold, where users can pay an annual subscription fee and and watch the platform's content without ads. The offering is similar to YouTube Premium.

Image: MX Player | Twitter

This development comes at a time when video streaming giants seem to be losing steam as people enter the post-COVID-19 world and content fatigue starts to set in. Entertainment giant Netflix lost subscribers for the first time in 10 years. In April, it reported losing 200,000 subscribers, globally, in January-March 2022 quarter. Its competitors including Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar do not reveal user numbers.

In India, content players have found it challenging to get people to pay subscription fees as the population is extremely price-conscious. In April 2022, only 10 percent of people were paying to watch content out of 503 million users, who have access to these platforms, according to a report by Ernst and Young (EY).

Hence, offering smaller subscription fees or the pay later alternative, instead of a full-year subscription money upfront, could help attract paid users.

Amazon Prime Video also rolled out a movie rental arm to enable people to pay per movie instead of paying lump-sum subscription fees. Currently, Google-owned YouTube and Google Play Movies and TV, among others, also offer movie rental services.

Credit: YourStory Design

Paying later for shopping and other service has become quite popular in India's fintech space. This popularity gave birth to multiple credit card challengers, including Slice and Fi Money. Apart from that, every consumer-tech business is letting people take on credit for small purchases including clothes, food delivery, and cab rides.

But in case, users do not pay their dues, the consequences can range from disconnection of services to receiving a bad CIBIL score.

MX Player currently claims to have 300 million monthly active users and over one billion app downloads.

Edited by Kanishk Singh


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