China deal delivers pix to platform

BEIJING

China’s biggest online video company, Youku Tudou, pacted with Sony Pictures Television Tuesday to bring more than 300 new and classic Sony titles to its Youku Premium platform.

The five-year deal means that Youku Tudou now offers licensed content from all major Hollywood studios, after signing similar deals with WB, DreamWorks, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Disney, NBCUniversal and Lionsgate.

Under the deal, 300 Sony movies will become available for paid on-demand viewing, including classics such as “Groundhog Day,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and “Sense and Sensibility” plus newer films including “Men in Black 3,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “21 Jump Street.”

Yukou bought second-biggest player Tudou this year, and together they have a combined reach of up to 310 million unique viewers per week. China is the world’s largest Internet market with over half a billion users. Some 350 million of these watch video online.

Both Youku and Tudou started out copying the business model of the banned YouTube in China. In recent years they have focused on providing licensed content, which is good news for Hollywood and others trying to break into China.

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