Alibaba inks deal with Buena Vista Internation to release Disney content on Youku

Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group has inked a multi-year content deal with Buena Vista International

Alibaba has signed a content licensing deal with Disney subsidiary Buena Vista International to release Disney content on video platform Youku.

The deal, which also includes OTT platforms such as SmartTV and set-top boxes, includes more than 1,000 episodes of Disney animated series including DuckTales and My Friends Tigger & Pooh, as well as 100 live action and classic films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Frozen and Beauty and the Beast.

The multi-year licensing deal was negotiated by Alibaba’s media and entertainment division, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group and establishes Alibaba as the platform with the largest collection of Disney animation in China.

Alibaba said the deal aims to satisfy the growing demand for family entertainment in the country.

Yang Weidong, president of Youku, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group said, “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.

“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 is looking to grow its share of China’s fiercely competitive online video market, which is led by iQIYI and Tencent Video.

The content deal comes hot on the heels of a spate of activity in the entertainment space with both of China’s internet giants Alibaba and Tencent focused on boosting their entertainment credentials.

In January, Tencent bought a minority stake in US production company Skydance Media, the company behind films such as Mission: Impossible, Terminator and Star Trek.

Just days later, Alibaba acquired a stake of film and movie business Wanda Film Holdings and then its film studio division, Alibaba Pictures, signed a partnership deal with STX Entertainment to co-develop and co-produce an action film.

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