Film streaming service MUBI on Thursday announced a significant alliance with Times Bridge, the global investment unit of The Times Group, India's oldest and largest media company.
Times Bridge will support MUBI as it expands into 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. In the last 10 years, MUBI's community of film lovers has grown into the world's largest social network dedicated to independent cinema, making it the number one destination to watch, share, and discuss high-quality film. In India, MUBI will seek out relationships with film festivals, local producers and emerging talent who are eager to tell new stories to a global audience.
Times Bridge joins an array of strategic partners MUBI has mobilized around the world and will work with MUBI to provide insight and intelligence into the Indian marketplace and local audience trends.
As part of Times Bridge's investment in MUBI, the firm will provide the streaming service with ongoing counsel on brand positioning, engagement potential, monetization and public policy, as well as facilitating local partnerships, talent outreach and relationships with aligned Indian influencers. As part of the deal, MUBI will also gain access to The Times Group's wider set of advertising inventory.
MUBI's CEO EfeCakarel, said of the partnership: "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 added: "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."
2017 was a busy year for MUBI. As well as recently signing a major multi-year SVOD deal with NBCUniversal across 11 territories, the bespoke streaming service theatrically released acclaimed titles such as Berlinale Golden Bear winner On Body & Soul from director IldikoEnyedi and Silver Bear winner Felicite, both shortlisted for the Oscars Best Foreign Language Film, as well as joining forces once again with visionary director Nicolas Winding Refn on a specially commissioned new MUBI ident. – TOI