Chinese Internet Giant Tencent Licenses Disney Films for Streaming Video Service
Tencent, China's largest Internet company, has signed a deal with Disney Media Distribution to bring a collection of Disney, Pixar and Marvel Studios titles to the Chinese company’s streaming movie service, Hollywood VIP.
The number and names of films acquired, along with financial terms, were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to be working with Disney to bring both new and classic movies to Chinese viewers," Sun Zhong Huai, vice president of Tencent, said in a statement. "With its extensive user base and wide range of platforms and content, Tencent is ideally-placed to drive the growth of the Chinese digital distribution market and meet increasing consumer demand, supported by some of Hollywood's biggest studios."
Tencent’s Hollywood VIP previously has signed similar deals with Warner Bros., Universal, Miramax, and Lionsgate, which Sun Zhong said “has been a huge success, with hundreds of thousands of repeat customers enjoying millions of movies views on our film service since we launched.”
"We're excited to provide Tencent's Hollywood VIP with the best of the Disney movie slate featuring a wide range of movies, and some of our best animated features and blockbuster films. Millions of Chinese online viewers can now see films from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel studios at home or on the go," said Dai Hua, vice president and managing director of Disney Channels and Disney Media Distribution Greater China.
A monthly subscription video-on-demand service similar to Netflix, Hollywood VIP gives its users access to new and classic films, with newer titles available the same day they are released on Blu-ray and DVD. The development of such services – others include Youku Tudou’s wildly popular streaming video service – has emerged as a lucrative new distribution channel for Hollywood and a boon to piracy prevention in China.
Hollywood VIP customers can also purchase newly released movies – current offers include Oblivion, Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall, We're the Millers and The Conjuring -- on a transactional basis – often as soon as two weeks after their U.S. theatrical release.
The service also hosts many domestic Chinese movies, which are usually made available one to two months after their local theatrical release.
Tencent says that more than 1,500 movies will now be available through Hollywood VIP, many of them exclusive to the service in China.