Chinese Web Giant Youku Tudou Reports Narrowed First-Quarter Loss

The Beijing-based online TV company reported that revenue rose 21 percent in the latest period.

HONG KONG – Chinese online video giant Youku Tudou late Wednesday reported improved first-quarter results.

Youku Tudou chairman Victor Koo said he was “pleased” with the progress of the merger of two of China’s biggest online TV entities that created the firm.

The Beijing-based online TV company said that first-quarter revenue rose 21 percent to $83.1 million, with its loss for the first three months of the year narrowing to $37.4 million. The improvements came compared with the combined figures of Youku and Tudou when they were still separate companies in the same period in 2012.

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Youku and Tudou announced their decision to merge in Aug. 2012.

In its earnings report, the company predicted second-quarter net revenues would range from $117.1 million to $125.2 million.

In the company statement, Koo said he was “pleased” with the merger process, which is now in its final phase, with a restructuring of the sales team already completed. 

"The three key video mobile traffic metrics all recorded exciting growth in the first quarter and now we have over 100 million active monthly users, over 170 million daily video views and over 70 minutes average daily user time spent,” he said.

The company’s president, Dele Liu, said then new, post-merger group structure allows further differentiation of the brands, content and products of Youku and Tudou platforms.

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“Our content strategy is to decrease our dependence on premium licensed content while strengthening in-house production and user-generated content. We will take a balanced approach and continue to deliver high-impact self-produced content that strengthens brand identity for Youku and Tudou, enhances social media value and supports our content marketing solutions."

According to figures from Analysys International, Youku Tudou remains the biggest player in China’s online video industry with 32.4 percent of the market. Sohu is second with 10.9 percent, followed by Baidu-owned iQiyi (6.7 percent) and Tencent (4.7 percent).

The Youku Tudou merger last year was followed earlier this month with Baidu’s $370 million acquisition of the steaming-video operations of Shanghai-based PPS. Responding to reports about his rival’s move, Liu released a statement saying how such consolidation in the sector is “inevitable.”

“We are happy to see this purchase go forward. We expect this acquisition will further rationalize the industry and help reduce piracy in the sector,” he said.