China: Disney deal for Alibaba

Alibaba’s entertainment arm has signed a licensing agreement with The Walt Disney Company which will make its platforms China’s most-comprehensive destination for Disney animations.

Under the multi-year deal with Buena Vista International, a Disney-owned motion picture distributor, Youku subscribers will be able to access over 1,000 episodes of animated TV series on the online video hub. Also, nearly 30 million households using Alibaba’s set-top boxes and partnering Smart TV platforms will also be able to view up to 1000 episodes of animated series, as well as hundreds of Disney movies, such as the popular live-action film series Pirates of the Caribbean, or animated classics like Beauty and the Beast, Mulan and Frozen.

Youku is China’s largest video streaming service and is wholly owned the Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group.

“The addition of Disney content greatly enriches the library of quality international content on Alibaba’s media and entertainment ecosystem, giving us a leading edge in foreign content distribution in China,” said Yang Weidong, president of Youku. “We look forward to further cooperation with global entertainment companies, which will help increase our penetration in the family entertainment segment and strengthen Youku’s position as a leading multi-screen entertainment and media platform in China.”

Youku, which reaches 580 million devices each day and gets about 1.2 billion views, already has similar licensing deals with Warner Bros, Paramount, Fox, NBCUniversal and Sony Pictures Television, among others.

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