Merged Chinese Online Video Giant Youku Tudou Revamps Site, Differentiates Brands

Younger-skewing Tudou will launch three self-produced shows, including one providing updates on celebrity culture and the entertainment industry.

Youku Tudou, China's newly merged and largest online video company, on Tuesday kicked off a differentiation campaign for Tudou with the unveiling of a revamped site design, the introduction of new social features and new original programming.

The "True Dou" campaign will look to distinctly brand the Youku and Tudou brands by highlighting the "youthful, fashion-forward nature" of the Tudou site, which generally draws a younger audience.

A larger video player is a central part of the new design as is a new discussion feature that allows users to discuss videos in real time via pop-up bubbles on top of videos.

Tudou is also launching three new channels called Tudou Original, Entertainment and Animation.

And it unveiled three new self-produced programs for Tudou Original. Yif Magic will offer weekly installments of entertainment programming every Friday. Meanwhile, Tudou Surfin' and Tudou Groovin' will present video magazine-style updates on global pop music, celebrities and the entertainment industry.

"The Chinese online video industry has been characterized by fierce competition for the past several years," said Youku Tudou chairman and CEO Victor Koo. "Now that Youku and Tudou are no longer competing with one another, it's time to let both sites be themselves."

He added: "Tudou's new design and identity position it to appeal to younger, more independent audiences than the more general audience served by Youku."

Added Yu Zhou, senior vp of Youku Tudou Inc. and chief strategy officer of Tudou: "Ever since it launched in 2005, Tudou has positioned itself as the best choice for entertainment-focused, fashion-conscious young people with a combination of innovative technology and top content. The site redesign, new social features and the True Dou campaign will make it clear to viewers that we aren't resting on our laurels."

Youku and Tudou are China's top two online video platforms with a combined reach of as many as 310 million unique viewers per week. A recent report from Chinese research firm iResearch estimated that Youku Tudou serves 1.6 billion hours of video every month.


Twitter: @georgszalai