Beijing – Youku Tudou Inc., an Internet television company in China, has signed an agreement with Sony Pictures Television (SPT) to bring more than 300 new and classic Sony Pictures titles to the Youku Premium platform. The five-year SPT deal comes on the heels of previous Youku Tudou agreements with each of WB, DreamWorks, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, NBC Universal, and Lionsgate, rounding out the company’s offerings to include licensed content from all major Hollywood studios.
The SPT titles will become available for paid on-demand over the duration of the agreement, including classic titles like Groundhog Day, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Sense and Sensibility, as well as critically acclaimed titles such as The Fisher King and Across the Universe. SPT will also make newer films available, including Men in Black 3, The Amazing Spider-Man and 21 Jump Street.
“Since launching Youku Premium in 2010, Youku Tudou has been committed to building the best platform for viewers and copyright holders alike, and our strong working relationships with all eight major Hollywood studios allow us to offer our viewers a wealth of licensed content. Subscriber growth for Youku Premium has exceeded our expectations, and we see it as a sign that Chinese audiences are willing and eager to pay for quality content,” says Huilong Zhu, Youku Tudou’s vice president of movie operations and corporate development.
After first experimenting with paid viewing for a live broadcast of comedian Guo Degang’s show in August 2009, Youku debuted Youku Premium in beta in late 2010, offering ad-free, high-resolution premium content on a paid on-demand and subscription-based basis. Youku Premium has approximately two million paid users.