Anirban Roy Choudhury

Eros Now partners with YouTube music; launches Rs 99 pack

Today, video streaming platform, Eros Now, which claims to have more than 177 million registered users, announced a collaboration with YouTube Music in India to introduce a special subscription package at Rs 99 for 90 days for new users of YouTube Music Premium subscription. The offering will be available to all new users of YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Music in India.

YouTube Music’s monthly subscription pack costs Rs 129 while Eros' basic plan comes at Rs 49 per month. As a part of the partnership, the YouTube Music-Eros Now pack will cost a new subscriber a subsidised Rs 99 for three months.

"Eros Now is potentially the world's largest collection of films, and YouTube has potentially the largest collection of music, and both, music and movies, have always been a big part of desi family entertainment. We are trying to jointly evangelise the subscription ecosystem in India. We have not seen a single such initiative in the Indian OTT context," explains Ali Hussien, chief executive officer, Eros Now.

Rishika Lulla Singh, chairman and chief executive officer, Eros Digital adds, "We believe this will give us a huge ramp-up for direct subscribers. This universe can open up anywhere around the 10 million subscriber mark in terms of what we want to drive from this partnership given the sheer size of YouTube and the brand value they hold in the markets that we are concentrating on."

She believes, from the brand's perspective, it is actually a "huge win". “It's the first time in the world, Google has formed a partnership of this nature or scale. YouTube and Eros are together driving the subscription market in India and hopefully, this is a model that would be replicated the world over," she asserts.

The subsidised pack will be jointly promoted by YouTube and Eros. "YouTube has a funnel of close to 325 - 350 million consumers that come to the platform on a month-on-month basis. We have got 23.5 million paid subs and 177 million registered users. So, through e-mail communication, and push notifications on our existing services, we will be cross-pollinating the fact that YouTube and Eros Now have come together with a subsidised pack," says Hussein.

Eros Now's core audience, as per Hussein, sits in the tier-II, tier-III markets. "We are, 'Subh Mangal Savdhaan', 'Tanu Weds Manu' — slightly more desi in nature," he says. However, he believes this pack will cut through to streamers from all across. "This pack is a value proposition for students going to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore because at Rs 99, you get to use two services uninterrupted for three months. If we have Tamil movies YouTube has Tamil Music, we have Telugu Movies they have Telugu Music, so it is as regional as regional could be," he opines.

Hussein shares that both YouTube and Eros Now are trying to target the 18 - 34 year old male and female audiences across the country. "Somebody who is not a user or an infrequent user will have the opportunity to subscribe to this service," he concludes.

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