20th Century Fox Signs Exclusive Output Deal With China’s iQIYI

'The Revenant'
'Revenant,' Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

The online video company, owned by search giant Baidu, will be the first in China to stream 'The Martian,' 'The Revenant' and more.

20th Century Fox has signed an exclusive output agreement with Chinese online video company iQIYI, granting the service first-run subscription-streaming and transactional VOD rights to the studio's recent, major theatrical releases.

Titles included under the deal include The Martian, The Revenant, Snoopy and Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Under the terms of the deal, iQIYI, which is an independent subsidiary of search giant Baidu, will be the first online platform in China to stream the Fox films.

Earlier last year, the two partners enhanced their existing library licensing deal by significantly increasing the films available on iQIYI’s online video streaming service.

China's competitive online video sector — which includes other large players such as Youku Tudou, Sohu, LeEco and others — has been engaged in a battle for exclusive content over the past few years, as many of the services are working to transition from loss-making ad-supported business models to a Netflix-like, subscription-based approach.

iQIYI has an existing deal with NBCUniversal for streaming rights to all of the studio's movies released in Chinese cinemas over the next few years. Last year, it also acquired online rights to 800 Paramount films and signed a 10-year contract for live-streaming rights to 2,000 professional women's tennis matches. The company also has begun producing original Chinese-language content in larger volumes.

"We are extremely pleased to expand our partnership with iQIYI for this innovative deal to bring their subscribers first access to 20th Century Fox’s films in China," said Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox in a statement. "This is another example of the continuing growth of our important relationships in this rapidly expanding marketplace.”

iQIYI says its investments in exclusive and original content are steadily expanding its subscriber base. As of December 2015, the company reported 10 million subscribers. 

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