Russian Online Video Service ivi.ru Inks Deals with Hollywood Majors

4:07 AM PST 04/27/2012 by Vladimir Kozlov

ivi.ru became the first company in Eastern Europe to have licensing deals with all of the majors.

MOSCOW -- The Russian company ivi.ru has become the first online video service in Eastern Europe to have signed agreements with all the Hollywood majors.

The company said in a statement that it had finalized the latest in a series of licensing deals with the majors and now is offering to its users 65,000 items of video content, including that licensed from 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures and NBC Universal.

“The reached agreements are an important step for the development of the legitimate video market in Russia and fighting piracy in the digital content industry,” Oleg Tumanov, chairman of the board and managing director of ivi.ru, said in a statement. “The partnership with Hollywood’s leading studios is opening up new opportunities and creating advantages for our users and for the sector in general.”

In the near future, 30 out of 50 all-time box office champions are to be made available to ivi.ru users, the company said.

ivi.ru is Russia’s leading online video service, with a market share of about 30 percent, according to the research group Romir Gallup International. It uses a combination of ad-sponsored, pay-per-view and subscription models. Recent box office hits are available to the service’s users at 79 roubles ($2.7) per movie.

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