Leading Indian film distributor Eros International has secured a deal for its video streaming service Eros Now in China. Several Indian films, including Eros “Andhadhun,” have recently performed strongly in Chinese movie theaters, sparking growing audience interest in Bollywood and Indian regional cinema.
The deal with state-backed Wasu Media enables Wasu to provide Bollywood content as a SVOD service to Chinese viewers. The company reaches 125 million users via its cable TV, OTT, IPTV distribution network in more than 100 cities in China.
While Bollywood movies have been licensed to Chinese distributors on a case by case basis — and Eros previously announced a 100-title content supply deal with iQIYI — Eros is the first Indian company to secure such a large partnership deal in China. Other international video streaming groups, including Netflix and Amazon Prime are also not operational in the tightly-controlled Chinese market.
The company recently announced that Eros Now had 18.8 million paying subscribers. Eros shares, which are listed in New York in ADR form, climbed 6.5% following the announcement of the deal on Monday.
“China is a great market for Bollywood content and our partnership with WASU Media and uCast ties in with our ethos of connecting with Bollywood fans across the world,” said Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, Eros Digital.
“Wasu Media’s partnership with Eros and uCast significantly promotes the development of Indian film and television in China, delivering more Bollywood content to Chinese audiences,” said Lu DanQiang, GM of Wasu New Media Operations.