Mumbai, Maharashtra, India:
Amidst an explosion of incredible content and an ever-expanding, large, and diverse Indian Consumer base India’s First Premium Rural Entertainment Channel, Azaad and India’s leading entertainment super app MX player announce a strategic partnership to enable exponential growth and bring together the linear, rural, and digital worlds together. With the strong belief in the ‘power of engaged connections’ and the aspiration to meet its viewers at their doorstep, Azaad and MX Player are all set to reach out to the Indian diaspora with new stories embedded in the rural fabric and culture. Beginnen Media recently launched Azaad with its premise being ‘People First. Rural First’. MX Player, with its large and diverse audience of over 200 million monthly active users believes in ‘everytainment’ and caters to its audiences with varied entertainment palettes. This unique business move comes as a strategic content UnionShip for both brands. In an industry, where the norm is that of media conglomerates repurposing their linear content for their Over-the-top (OTT) platforms, this is the first partnership where two standalone entities have come together to leverage their strengths, create unique content, and reach wider audiences. Azaad will soon add to its repertoire original content, besides the syndicated content that is currently on air.
In recent years, OTT platforms and TV penetration had already begun changing the way the world consumed content. The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns accelerated that process manifold. According to a recent PwC report, India is currently the world’s fastest-growing OTT market and is set to become the sixth-largest around the globe by 2024. Providers with the most unified viewing and search experiences will see growth. In the post-COVID world, people will prioritize their spending which will result in more freely available and easily accessible models in the long term. OTT and television will not be competing mediums but will co-exist and enable in transition for family home audiences who enjoy cohesive viewing and also offer the same entertainment experiences to audiences to enjoy content on-the-go.
Beginnen Media’s Managing Director, Bharat Kumar Ranga, says, “The UnionShip with MX Player offers a seamless consumer experience on both mediums as we attempt to be innovators at the intersection of TV and digital. Azaad is for people with rural mindsets where people access entertainment on both TV and internet. We needed to find a right anchor that compliments Azaad on the internet. MX Player immediately aligned to our vision as we share a commonality of consumer centricity that will assist us with our expansion goals for Azaad and MX Player. MX valued our idea and intent and Azaad loved their youthfulness, vigour, hunger for growth and uncanny consumer centricity. For consumers, MX and Azaad will appear like one common platform. This reflects Beginnen Media’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to using our experience of innovation as the roadmap for propelling the industry forward to an all new way of doing business.”
Elaborating on the same, Karan Bedi – CEO, MX Group said, “In an industry first, this association will transcend traditional TV and digital OTT to drive synergies and foster growth for both players, by creating innovative new content and catering to a larger audience set. As a platform that can reach consumers at every touchpoint, this strategic partnership with Azaad is sure to entertain the masses and drive more engagement for both brands.”
Rachin Khanijo, Beginnen Media, Chief Marketing Officer adds, “We believe that this distinct UnionShip with MX Player will surely be the best manner in which two standalone brands together will unlock the power of TV and OTT in an integrated manner by leveraging synergies to reach and engage with maximum viewers. We have approached this association creatively as well as strategically to ensure that there’s a strong audience fit and have planned on scaling it with projected metrics of what TV and digital is expected to deliver – both at an attributed and holistic level.”
Mansi Shrivastav, SVP and Head – Content Acquisitions & Alliances, MX Player concluded saying, “This unique UnionShip compliments MX strategically – adding many hues of entertainment to our diverse content offering and bringing with it fresh, young, and new flavours reflecting the ethos of today’s rural Indian fabric. With this distinctive slate, we are well poised to cater to every palette and are excited that this association with Beginnen Media’s premium heartland entertainment channel Azaad will enhance viewership and aid market expansion.”
Stay tuned to this space to learn of the original content that will soon air on Azaad and stream for free on MX Player.
Beginnen Media was launched in October 2019 and is headquartered in Mumbai. Beginnen, as the name suggests, is the German word for ‘Commencement of Something New’. The Vision of the organization is to pioneer a ‘People Specific’ range of products and services. It aspires to create total consumer experiences by connecting with them through powerful stories tailor-made for the rural mass and gradually be at every touchpoint that they are available at. The people-centric philosophy that defines Beginnen Media is a set of guiding principles to build long-lasting customer relationships. Its mission is to develop innovative, authentic, creative entertainment experiences and related multi-media products. Innovation is a strategic value at Beginnen Media and a fundamental part of its corporate culture. It believes in the power of collaboration and its core values include People Focus, Inclusion, Diversity, Empathy, Market Focus, and Accessibility.
The first offering from Beginnen Media is Azaad, India’s ‘FIRST Premium Hindi Entertainment Channel that will feature Content Exclusively for the ‘Rural Mindset’. Azaad is available on DD Free Dish and select Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) in the heartland markets from May 2021 with the premise of being ‘People First. Rural First’. It features different genres of Drama, Action, Romance, as well as entertaining movies and Kids’ content.
Azaad is available on DD Free Dish Channel No 36.
About MX Player
MX Player is an entertainment super app that caters to over 200 million Monthly Active Users in India, integrating all forms of entertainment on one platform – including video playback, streaming video, music, and gaming. Defining “everytainment” for viewers with entertainment that suits every mood, it currently operates on an ad supported model and hosts a wide library of over 2,00,000 hrs. of premium content across 10 languages, including a critically acclaimed slate of MX Original/ Exclusives, movies, web series, TV shows, news and audio music. The app is available across Android, iOS, Web, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, and OnePlus TV amongst others.
Having launched its gaming feature in February 2020, Games on MX Player has grown exponentially, and this tournament-style slew of hyper-casual mobile games is now available across its Android and iOS apps. MX Player has now spread its footprints across 12 markets including UAE, US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Srilanka, Maldives, and Bhutan. MX has further expanded its business with the launch of its short format video app MX TakaTak – a home-grown platform with over 150m MAU that offers a wide variety of short-form content and creation tools across genres that is home to the largest number of 48Mn+ unique content creators as well as MX ShareKaro that is an easy-to-use file sharing app with rapid transfer speed.