Eros Now, the digital streaming service of Eros International, has integrated its service with Vodafone Play. This gives Vodafone users access to Bollywood films including Housefull 3, Dishoom, Happy Bhaag Jayegi, Bajirao Mastani and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, says the press release. Eros Now claims to have over 55 million registered users worldwide with 1.32 million of them being paid users. It has a movie library which includes Hindi, Tamil, and other regional language films.
Other content distribution deals by Eros Now:
Launched in 2012, Eros Now has been expanding its customer base for a while now by partnering with telecom operators, multi-system operators (MSOs) and other platforms.
- Eros Now has a content distribution partnerships with Reliance Jio and Idea Cellular. However, the company’s deal with Idea Cellular is also a platform deal where the telecom operator will allow Idea 4G customers to watch movies, originals and short form videos at Rs 49 per month.
- In October 2016, the platform partnered with telecom operators, Ooredoo in Kuwait and Qatar, and Du in the UAE for mobile billing integration.
- In May 2016, it signed a partnership with Amazon Fire TV to offer Bollywood and regional language films, music and originals, on-demand to Amazon Fire TV users across US, UK, and Western Europe.
- In April 2016, it also forayed into Malaysia through partnerships with two local telco; Maxis Berhad and U Mobile. Through this deal, Eros’ app was to be available to prepaid and postpaid users of both telcos for RM10 (~$2.6) per month.
- In October 2015, Eros Now tied up with Ortel Communications, a multi system operator (MSO) and ISP, to offer a subscription based movie streaming service called Ortel Broadband Movies.
- In August 2015, the company inked a content distribution deal with Airtel’s Wynk application to offer its films on Wnyk Movies.
- In June 2015, it partnered with WeChat to let its users to listen to music, watch videos and get Bollywood gossip and news through its official channel on the messaging platform.
- Prior to this, the company also partnered with Indian multiple-system operator (MSO) Home Cable Network Private Ltd., to offer its collection of films and music to Home Cable network’s customer base.
- Apart from telecom operators, MSOs and ISPs, Eros Now also partnered with RailTel Corporation of India to offer passengers at railway stations across India access to its entertainment content on their mobile devices.
Eros Now’s initial problems with paid subscription
In the first two years of its launch, Eros Now had faced problems with customer acquisition. Owing to problems with signup for its subscription service, the company had switched to a freemium model in February 2014. With that switch, Eros Now began monetising its content in three ways – advertising for free content, subscription and transactional payment. Transactional would include customers paying for exclusive premiering of movies on the platform.
Prior to this switch, the platform charged customers $4.99/month, which was later reduced to $2.99/month and further down to Rs. 25 per month in February 2014. It is worth noting that the service presently offers its service at Rs. 49 per month for Eros Plus and Rs. 99 per month for Eros Pro. It also offers a free basic service with limited access to movies and tv shows but unlimited access to music.
In September 2016, Eros International raised $30 million through two existing institutional shareholders via private placement, for the expansions of Eros Now.