Disney Strikes Major Chinese Streaming Deal with Alibaba’s Youku

Thousands of hours of Disney TV series and movies will be available in China after the Hollywood studio struck a major streaming deal with Alibaba’s SVOD service Youku.

More than 1,000 episodes of Disney animated series will be made available, including DuckTales and My Friends Tigger & Pooh, while live-action movies including Pirates of the Caribbean as well as animated movies such as Beauty and the Beast, Mulan and Frozen will also be included in the deal.

Many of the shows in the multi-year licensing deal are exclusive to Youku, while some are also available on other platforms. The content will be available online and on mobiles as well as on a number of Smart TVs.

It is Disney’s latest content deal in China and comes after it struck a deal last year to remake Mulan as a live-action Chinese movie. However, while it has found success with Disneyland Shanghai, Disney has had its ups and downs in the country, with its own online platform DisneyLife shut down five months after its launch in 2016 for falling foul of foreign content regulations.

“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,” said Yang Weidong, president of Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group’s video streaming platform Youku.

“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,” he added.

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