Youku partners with China Telecom for subscription-based video channel

24 November 2010 11 h 07 min Comments Off

China’s leading online video site Youku (www.youku.com) announced today that it would partner with China Telecom to manage the subscription-based new “Original Content” channel on the operator’s 3G video service.

The new cooperation marks the first time China Telecom has ever partnered with an online video site for 3G video services — and continues Youku’s strategy of forging strong, lasting partnerships with all three of China’s telecom and mobile operators.

Under the new partnership, Youku will provide content and manage operations for the channel. When the Original Content channel launches late next month, subscribers will be able to pay over their mobile phones or via the internet for access to a broad range of high quality video content, including short films produced by Youku under its Youku Originals brand and all of the films co-produced by Youku as part of the hit 11 Degrees New Media Project — on whatever screen they happen to have in front of them, whether it’s their mobile phone, a tablet computer, or a desktop PC. The service will deliver high quality streaming video to any internet-connected device for a superb viewing experience.

In addition to being China’s largest internet service provider, China Telecom is also the country’s fastest-growing 3G mobile operator, with 3G subscriber growth of 76.5%, or nearly 4 million, for the year to date, bringing it to 9.2 million 3G subscribers.

In May 2009, Youku became China’s first online video site to make selections from its content library available to mobile users through its 3G portal (http://3g.youku.com); since then, Youku has seen mobile traffic grow to two million page views per day. Earlier this year, Youku moved even further beyond the PC when it became the first online video site in the world to make its entire catalogue of content available in HD for the iPad and iPhone 4. Through its new partnership with China Telecom and its ongoing partnerships with China’s other two major telecom operators, Youku is laying the groundwork for the future of internet television on the PC and beyond.

Youku CTO Leo Yao Jian hailed the partnership as the latest move in Youku’s long-term strategy of making internet video as ubiquitous as the internet itself. “Over the last year,” Yao said, “we’ve been working to make Youku a part of people’s daily lives, whether they’re at their computers or commuting to work. We enjoy friendly working relationships with all three of China’s 3G mobile operators, and we’ve seen explosive growth in the number of 3G users as a result of that.” He added that Youku was working to explore business models for mobile access. “Mobile data fees are poised to become still cheaper next year,” he said, “and we expect to see even greater growth in mobile users, which will mean ever closer partnerships between Youku and mobile operators in the future.”

In addition to its regular web and mobile web interfaces, Youku also offers native software clients for all major smartphone operating systems. The company’s free iOS app, for iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads, is one of the most popular free downloads in China’s iTunes App Store, and Youku applications for other operating systems have shipped pre-installed on more than 4.6 million smartphones this year alone. Youku estimates that its smartphone penetration is more than 50%.

About Youku
Youku.com Inc. (www.youku.com) is China’s leading Internet television company. Our mission is to become the primary video content provider for Chinese internet users across all Internet-enabled devices. We offer a combination of licensed professional content, user-generated content and self-produced web content by Youku Originals. Since launching in December 2006, Youku has grown to become China’s third-largest website in terms of user time spent. According to research firm iResearch, Youku attracts approximately 203 million monthly unique visitors from homes and offices and 61 million monthly unique visitors from Internet cafes, and has a 40% share of total user time spent viewing online videos among Chinese internet users.

Source: Youku (24/11/2010)

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