A new content collaboration between BBC Studios and Alibaba Group’s video streaming platform Youku will make more than 100 hours of CBeebies content available to audiences across China. The kids shows will be available to stream and download both online and through the Youku mobile app.
The agreement will see Australian production Bluey from Ludo Studios dubbed in Chinese and premiere on Youku today. Bluey was co-commissioned by BBC Worldwide and ABC Kids. The animated preschool series, which stars an Australian Blue Heeler puppy and her family, was picked up for a second season earlier this year.
Additional BBC Studios shows, including My Pet and Me, My World Kitchen and the English language-focused learning series Yakka Dee, will be available on Youku later this year. The shows will be subtitled and dubbed in Chinese.
In other Youku news, the platform inked a deal with Los Angeles-based Genius Brands International to co-produce the new animated series Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten. The strategic co-production partnership will see the companies co-produce 52 x 11-minute episodes of the comedy-adventure series. In addition to being made available to Chinese audiences, Genius Brands is also in talks with potential US partners.
Created by Stan Lee and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Superhero Kindergarten (pictured) is also co-produced by Lee’s POW! Entertainment and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions.The series targets kids ages four to seven.
In a statement, Genius Brands’ chairman and CEO Andy Heyward said the partnership was a perfect fit for the preschool series because of Youku’s ability to integrate entertainment and commerce. Last year, Entertainment One signed an agreement with Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall for its Peppa Pig property, and Spin Master has also inked a strategic partnership with the Chinese tech giant.