Disney’s New and Classic Movies Are Going to China
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) reached a deal with Tencent (TCEHY.PK), China’s largest Internet company, for Tencent’s video streaming service, Hollywood VIP, to show films from Disney, Marvel, and Pixar.
The number of films and financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Tencent Vice President Sun Zhong Huai said in a statement seen by The Wall Street Journal: “We are very excited to be working with Disney to bring both new and classic movies to Chinese viewers. With its extensive user base and wide range of platforms and content, Tencent is ideally-placed to drive the growth of the Chinese digital distribution market and meet increasing consumer demand, supported by some of Hollywood’s biggest studios.”
Hollywood VIP is a service comparable to Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), the Journal reports. Hollywood VIP has already inked deals with Time Warner’s (NYSE:TWX) Warner Bros., Comcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal, Miramax, and Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF), relationships Huai said have been a “huge success.” With the addition of the Disney films, Hollywood VIP will now offer more than 1,500 movies.
Netflix also cut a deal with Disney back in December, giving the former access to old and new titles from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel, as well. While Netflix may have pioneered online video streaming, the company knows it needs to continue acquiring and keeping the rights to the most popular content if it’s to maintain its dominance in the video-streaming world. Over the summer, Netflix signed deals with the Weinstein Co. and PBS to secure new content.
Hollywood VIP runs on a subscription basis, but it also makes new movies available for purchase as soon as two weeks after theatrical release. Tencent seems to be following Netflix’s example in regards to paying whatever it takes to get its hands on the best, most popular content available, and Chinese consumers will likely be happy to have access to Disney’s wildly popular film catalogue.
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