In a bid to get more paying users, Eros Now, the video streaming service from Eros International, has signed up with payments company Paytm for wallet payments. The company will probably be looking at Paytm to help with its transactionanal payments.
In the first two years of its launch, Eros Now had faced problems with customer acquisition. Owing to problems with sign up 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 payments 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.
Note that Amazon Prime Video went live yesterday and users can pay via Credit/Debit Cards, Netbanking, Gift Cards and Cash on Delivery. In contrast, Netflix allows requires a customer to have an international debit card or credit card for the its subscription service. Eros Now’s rival Hotstar, too has a freemium model, and charges customers a monthly subscription fee of Rs 199 which can be paid through cards.
Funding and financials
In October, Eros International raised $30 million through two existing institutional shareholders via private placement.Wells Fargo confirmed itself to be one of the two shareholders to participate in the investment. The company will use the fresh funds to further expand Eros Now.
For Q1 FY17, the company had registered digital revenues of $14.1 million, growing 135%, from $6 in the same quarter last year. On a sequential basis, digital revenues at Eros decreased 32.21% from $20.8 million. Eros’s digital businesses also includes YouTube channels and its distribution via cable based VoD services called “Bollywood Hits On Demand” with Cox, Rogers, Cablevision and Time Warner, apart from services in the UK and Middle East.