iQiyi bolsters kids content with Nickelodeon streaming deal

Spongebob Squarepants will stream on iQiyi in mainland China following content deal

iQiyi has inked a content streaming deal with Viacom International to stream Nickelodeon content on its entertainment platform.

The multi-year deal will provide iQiyi with the rights to stream Mandarin and English Nickelodeon programs in mainland China for programs such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Top Wing, Rusty Rivets and Rise of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The deal builds on the two entertainment companies previous deal in 2017 which gave iQiyi exclusive streaming rights to Nickelodeon programs Shimmer and Shine and Blaze and the Monster Machines.

Geng Danhao, senior vice president of iQiyi, said, “As iQiyi seeks to expand our selection of high quality children’s content, it is more important than ever to partner with world leading producers of children’s programming like Nickelodeon, a beloved children’s brand in the United States, whose content has strong appeal and relevance with the Chinese audience.”

Mark Whitehead, president and managing director, Asia Pacific at Viacom International Media Networks, said, “China remains a strategic market for Viacom. The extended content deal with iQiyi speaks to the success of our on-going collaboration with iQiyi, who is an important content distribution partner for us in China, enabling us to meet the demand of Nickelodeon’s premium entertainment content for Chinese viewers.”

Earlier this year iQiyi raised more than $2.2bn through its IPO with plans to invest the funds into technology and content as the company drives its strategy to become an "entertainment kingdom".

It comes as the online video market in China becomes increasingly competitive as iQiyi and rivals Youku and Tencent Video add new technologies, such as AI and AR, as well as content to attract more viewers. Earlier this year,

iQiyi’s monthly active users (MAU) on mobile reached 421 million in the December quarter of 2017 while MAU on PC platforms hit 424 million. Daily active users reached 126 million on mobile and 54 million on PC for the same period.

iQiyi claims these figures make it “the leading digital content service provider in mainland China”. However, recent research by eMarketer, named Tencent Video as the leader in China’s subscription over-the-top (OTT) video market, ahead of Youku and iQiyi.

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