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Sina, Youku Tudou Ally to Win More Online Video Viewers

Youku Sees Mobile, Original Content Aiding Profit Push, Koo Says
Youku Tudou Inc., which hasn’t been profitable since it listed on the New York Stock Exchange, faces growing competition in China’s online video market. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Youku Tudou Inc. said it has agreed with Sina Corp., owner of China’s largest Twitter-like service, to collaborate to win more viewers for their online videos on social media platforms and those using mobile devices.

Sina will promote Youku Tudou’s licensed video content to its users on Weibo microblog next month in exchange for access to the library of China’s largest online video company, Youku Tudou said in an e-mailed statement today. Mao Taotao, a spokesman for Sina in Beijing, said in an e-mailed response the company didn’t have anything to add beyond the press release.

The cooperation will help the two companies compete with Baidu Inc., which recently acquired two online video sites. Revenue from China’s online video business is projected to rise almost 12-fold to 16.2 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) in 2014 from 2009, according to iResearch, a Shanghai-based Internet consulting company.

“Social media is really important for branding and users’ share of mind,” Dele Liu, president of Youku Tudou, said in a telephone interview today. “The social platforms are a great means for gaining users.”

Both Sina and Youku Tudou are expanding on mobile devices. As many as 76 percent of Weibo’s daily active users access the service through mobile devices, while Youku Tudou has 170 million daily mobile views.

Youku Tudou and Weibo will cross-promote each other’s premium members and their content, according to the statement. User search results for movies and TV dramas will provide direct thumbnail links to the videos.

Youku Tudou’s content library has more than 4,500 movies and 2,700 television dramas.

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