Chinese tech giant Alibaba has signed a licensing agreement with The Walt Disney Company for 1,000 episodes of animated TV content as well as hundreds of Disney movies.
The multi-year deal, signed by Disney’s distributor Buena Vista International, will see the content bow on Alibaba’s online video hub Youku. The subscription-based on-demand service is used by 580 million devices each day and reaches 30 million households through Alibaba’s set-top boxes and partnering SmartTV platforms. Youku is China’s largest video streaming service and is wholly owned by Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group.
The Disney content heading to Youku includes Pirates of the Caribbean, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan and Frozen on the movie side, as well as DuckTales (pictured) and My Friends Tigger & Pooh on the TV front.
Alibaba has similar licensing deals already in place with Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox, NBCUniversal and Sony Pictures Television.
Disney has been focusing its efforts on China as of late while working on its live-action remake of Mulan using Chinese actors and locations. Shanghai Disneyland, meanwhile, has become China’s largest amusement park with more than 11 million visitors in its first year. This past May, Disney also opened an online lifestyle shop on Tmall, AliBabab’s e-commerce website.
Previously, Disney and Alibaba had a joint venture online channel called DisneyLife, which debuted in 2016 but was shut down by Chinese regulations less than five months after its launch.