Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Bollywood production company Eros wants Silicon Valley to buy its $1bn library

Apple in talks over $1bn buyout of major movie and music company in India – report Eros in talks with Apple to sell content library and streaming service: Report
Velma Reese | 08 August, 2017, 17:47

The Eros library includes blockbusters from the Hindi film industry, known as Bollywood, such as "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", "Dabangg" and "Bajirao Mastani".

Suitors are said to be lining up for a crack at the film and music content library of India's largest movie producer, Eros Group.

Eros International, the Indian production house, is in talks with streaming service providers to offer its entire content portfolio of films and music. The company also operates a wildly popular movie streaming service, Eros Now, considered the Netflix of India.

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Eros Now has around 2.9 million paid subscribers and over a 100 million registered users as of 30 June, 2017 according to a report by The Economic Times. On top of this, Eros Now has the rights to over 10,000 films, with about 5,000 of those owned in perpetuity. Recently, Amazon and Netflix have been stepping up their efforts (and rivalry) in the market. Last month, Amazon announced a deal with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to stream library and future titles, and premiered "Inside Edge" on Amazon Prime Video, about the worlds of cricket and entertainment, as the first of 18 Indian original series. Eros has expanded in recent years to add films in other Indian languages and says it now owns a library comprising more than 3,000 Indian films.

On the other hand, Netflix has also ordered series for "Sacred Games", starring Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte and Nawazuddin Siddique. Breaking Views columnist Una Galani suggests a purchase by Apple "would be unusual" since the Silicon Valley giant "rarely splashes large sums on acquisitions and has largely steered clear of buying content".

Shares in India-listed Eros International Media jumped almost 5% on the sale chatter Monday, before losing some of that ground on Tuesday afternoon. Since the deal is in a very early stage, spokesperson from either Eros or Apple declined to share the details of the deal. The New York-listed Eros International has been accused of corporate misgovernance, non-transparent related party transactions, financial misconducts and fraud. Eros India is the primary content creator.

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