MUBI breaks into India with backing of Times Bridge
James R | On 18, Jan 2018
MUBI is breaking into India with the backing of Times Bridge, the global investment unit of The Times Group.
The subscription streaming service is teaming up with India’s oldest and largest media company, a “significant alliance” that will help it expand its reach in one of world’s fastest-growing internet and movie markets. After the US and UK, India already represents the third-largest country in terms of traffic and registered users on MUBI. MUBI will seek out relationships in the country with film festivals, local producers and emerging talent who are eager to tell new stories to a global audience.
The deal continues MUBI’s growth into a community of film lovers that spands the globe and is dedicated to independent cinema. It follows a busy year for thes ite, which signed a major multi-year SVOD deal with NBCUniversal across 11 territories, theatrically released acclaimed titles such as Berlinale Golden Bear winner On Body & Soul from director Ildikó Enyedi and Silver Bear winner Félicité, both shortlisted for the Oscars Best Foreign Language Film, and joined forces once again with visionary director Nicolas Winding Refn on a specially commissioned new MUBI ident.
Indeed, Times Bridge joins Refn and China’s Huanxi Media as strategic investors in the video company, bringing its insight and intelligence into the Indian marketplace and local audience trends. As part of the investment, the firm will provide the streaming service with ongoing counsel on brand positioning, engagement potential, monetization and public policy, as well as facilitate local partnerships, talent outreach and relationships with Indian influencers. MUBI will also gain access to The Times Group’s wider set of advertising inventory.
MUBI’s Founder and CEO Efe Cakarel, says: “I am thrilled to be partnering with Rishi Jaitly and his team at Times Bridge. We are very ambitious with our prospects in India, and they have shown a highly sophisticated understanding of our business and our goals in the region. India is a unique opportunity for us to engage with a passionate community with deep cultural ties to film. Our platform and programming, combined with Times Bridge’s local knowledge and audience, will quickly position MUBI as a meaningful OTT service catering to India’s growing base of Internet users.”
Rishi Jaitly, CEO of Times Bridge adds: “At Times Bridge, our mission is to bring the world’s best ideas to India and share India’s best insights with the world. MUBI is an original idea with a decade’s worth of proven appeal amongst fans of independent cinema worldwide. Film is inextricably linked to India’s heritage and, in a country with rapidly-changing tastes, we are confident that the MUBI platform will delight a meaningful audience seeking high-quality, curated, global cinema.”
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