With the Redmi Note 3 and the Mi 5 making their debut in India, Xiaomi is now turning its attention to digital content services by leading a $25 million investment in Hungama Digital Media Entertainment. Hungama is a local movie and music streaming service that has over 65 million active monthly subscribers.
The Chinese manufacturer will integrate Hungama's on-demand video service into its devices and platform. Xiaomi's differentiator in China is its digital content ecosystem, and with the vendor now firmly established in the Indian market, it is looking to do the same in the country with its first investment outside China. Currently, over 75 percent of all Xiaomi phones sold in India are locally assembled under the government's "Make in India" initiative.
From Hugo Barra:
Xiaomi has been an Internet company from the very start. We think of smartphones as a platform for us to deliver Internet services, and this includes content. As our user base in India grows and as 4G penetration in India continues picking up, we will start to see more and more consumption of digital media through Xiaomi devices.
We are investing in Hungama not only to start integrating content into our smartphones, but also to grow together with them and deepen our understanding of the content sector in India. We have carefully selected Hungama because of what they are doing in terms of aggregating large amounts of content and delivering an amazing user experience.
Once the integration is finalized, Xiaomi will offer a selection of free and paid content as a means of monetization. Hungama currently has over 8,000 movies in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Punjabi, and six other regional languages, sourcing content from over 700 providers. Hungama's CEO Neeraj Roy said that the streaming service will add more regional content following the investment:
We are very excited to be partnering with Xiaomi, as we are extremely aligned in the way we see digital media becoming mainstream on mobile devices. Xiaomi has a very engaged community of fans, which we believe will benefit from the fabulous and immense repertoire from Hungama's content services. With this investment, we intend to further strengthen our movie and TV services and in fact, Hungama Play will shortly add 1500 hours of TV content in Indian languages and English.