Eros Group to sell content library of movies, music to Apple Inc for $ 1 billion?
Eros Group touted as the largest producer of movies in India is reportedly in talks with the world's most valuable company Apple Inc., to sell Eros' entire content library of movies and music for the whopping sum of $ 1 billion. The deal might also include their digital OTT platform, Eros Now, famously referred to as Bollywood's Netflix counterpart.
Parallel discussions are also allegedly being held with Amazon and Netflix (the rival media technology majors of the world) as the Eros Group helmed by Kishore Lulla is heading towards a major restructuring that will most likely result in a reverse merger with the parent company merging into its digital arm Eros Now.
If the deal between Eros Group and Apple Inc actually follows through, it would mean over 3000 Indian movies (both from Bollywood and regional cinema) from the Eros library will be available via Apple. Eros Now also has the rights to over 10,000 movies, 5,000 of which are perpetually owned across the Hindi and regional cinema genres by Eros' internal library as well as some aggregated content by a third party.
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. All this would mean premiere entertainment content and access for the potential suitor, as the rivalry between conglomerates, stand alone service providers, media, telcos and digital OTT companies for music and video streaming intensifies by the day.
"For a foreign player like Netflix, Apple or Amazon also the deal makes sense as they will get a big bump in terms of quality movie content that will help in getting more subscribers and it will make the Indian OTT market more competitive. If Apple decides to go down this path, it will make Apple TV a strong player in the OTT space," said Girish Menon, the head of media and entertainment at KPMG India, according to the same Economic Times report.
Discussions are reportedly on to monetise the library and its contents, and one can expect an announcement on the issue soon.
On a smaller scale, Salman Khan recently signed a deal with Amazon Prime Video wherein all his movies will be available to Amazon Prime subscribers a couple of months before they make their satellite and television premiere, along with his past movies also being up for streaming on the site. Shah Rukh Khan and his production house Red Chillies Entertainment also recently made a similar deal with digital streaming giant Netflix India.