Eros Now’s paid subscriber base stood at 5 million users at the end of December 31, 2017. The total number of registered users at the end of 2017 stood at 80 million. The paid subscribers represented 6.25% of the total registered users.
Eros said that the number of paid subscribers increased by 150% year-on-year, up from 2 million at the end of December 2016. The platform is available in India as well as abroad.
Eros had defined what a paying user was during the September quarter. It had said that paying subscribers is who has made a valid payment to subscribe to a service that includes the Eros Now service either as part of a bundle or on a standalone basis, either directly or indirectly through a telecom operator or OEM in any given month be it through a daily, weekly or monthly billing pack, as long as the validity of the pack is for at least one month.
Eros Now relies on telecom operators and OEMs for digital distribution. It has tie-ups with telcos like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and others. In a statement, the company added that the existing partnership deals with the telecom operators, mobile wallets and OEMs “all serve to underpin the company’s paying subscriber targets at an expected average annual ARPU of $5 in India and average annual ARPU of $35 internationally”. And that, Eros Now targets to reach 6-8 million paid subscribers and expects double the base in FY19.
The company will soon roll out originals on its platform, which will help the company to achieve its target. As of September 2017, Eros Now had rights to over 10,000 films, and 250,000 music tracks from 13 different labels.
Eros Now tie-ups
In terms of its global expansion, the streaming service said last month that it is now available to Amazon Prime members on Amazon Channels across the US and UK with a subscription fee of $7.99 and £5.99 per month. It also partnered with Smart TV company Foxxum in UK to bundle Eros’s Bollywood library on the Foxxum TV App Store globally.
In India, it has partnered with Airtel’s Wynk streaming service to offer their catalogue within the Wynk app itself — they have a similar arrangement with Jio. They have also partnered with BSNL to bundle subscriptions with data packs. In addition to this, they partnered with proprietary streaming sticks like Amazon’s Fire TV and (the now discontinued) Teewe.
Eros Now app was bundled into Ola Cabs’ in-cab entertainment service Ola Play. It also partnered with Paytm and other wallet providers for payments.
Eros Now and lawsuits
Amidst of its growing subscriber base, Eros attracted some controversies. In October 2017, Saregama India Limited (Saregama) filed a case of copyright infringement against Eros Digital for non-payment of dues, as per a Content License Agreement signed by the companies dated 13th July, 2015. According to Saregama, Eros Digital still owes it Rs 6.12 crore plus interest and penal interest. Note that Eros Digital confirmed to the court that it has taken down the content licensed from Saregama from the Eros Now platform.
A month before that, the class-action lawsuit was brought against Eros International in the US, by investors who alleged that the company had misled them regarding the potential of its movie streaming service Eros Now, was dismissed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The court was of the view that Eros had been adequately upfront about the prospect of Eros Now, plus the difference between projections stated by the company and the actual result was minor, and definitely didn’t amount to securities fraud.