China's You On Demand Adds Disney Movies to Its Mobile Video Service

5:40 AM PST 01/30/2014 by Clifford Coonan
"Pirates of the Carribean" and other Disney titles will soon be available from You on Demand.

The company also will soon make Lionsgate titles available via its app, You Cinema.

Chinese pay-per-view and VOD service You On Demand said Thursday it has added Disney to the list of studios whose content will be offered via its mobile service in the fast-growing China market.

You On Demand will also phase in Lionsgate titles in the near future, joining Paramount among studios' whose titles are already being viewed via YOD's mobile app.

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The company, led by chairman Shane McMahon, already offers content to 18 million homes in China through its links with the state-owned movie channel CCTV-6 and its tie-ups with a number of cable systems.

"This is a humongous opportunity. We are moving into the mobile space very quickly. We want to change the way a nation views content," McMahon said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

"There were over $6 billion of pirated DVD sales – this shows there is an insatiable appetite and people are willing to pay, but they were paying the wrong people," said the former WWE executive. "We give people the opportunity to watch better quality legal content for roughly the same price."

As a result of this collaboration, You On Demand will make available Disney's library titles, including Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as Marvel library titles through its Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) package. Also, new releases such as Thor: The Dark World and Saving Mr. Banks will be available via its Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) offer.

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"This partnership marks the next step in YOU On Demand’s commitment to provide rich and diverse content to customers anytime and anywhere on a wide variety of platforms, including mobile, digital cable, IPTV, Over-the-Top and online," said McMahon.

Once Lionsgate is fully phased in, You On Demand will be offering close to 500 titles, including new releases and library titles from the studios.

"We are custodians of the brands, so we need to make sure we protect their brands and promote them the right way," said McMahon. "We start with the sexiest content -- Hollywood movies, and some indigenous titles. The biggest marketing machine is Hollywood."

You On Demand has content distribution agreements in place with Paramount Pictures, NBC Universal, Warner Bros., Miramax Films, and Magnolia Pictures, as well as a broad selection of the best content from Chinese filmmakers. The company is currently in talks with Fox and Sony about cooperation.

You On Demand announced a distribution agreement with the telecoms giant Huawei, the world's third biggest smartphone maker, in November 2013.

The titles are screened via the company's newly launched mobile app, YOU Cinema, which currently comes preloaded on Huawei Mate smartphones.

You On Demand is headquartered in New York, with its China headquarters in Beijing.

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