China’s You On Demand Gets Disney Movies30 Jan, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
You On Demand, a New York-based Chinese multiplatform video distribution service, Jan. 30 said it has signed an expanded license deal with Disney Media Distribution.
Under the agreement, You On Demand will make available Disney catalog titles such as Alice in Wonderland and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, as well as Marvel titles, through its subscription streaming service. In addition, new releases such as Thor: The Dark World and Saving Mr. Banks will be available via transactional VOD.
Disney in recent years has upped its profile in China, including involving the communist country’s expansive film industry in Marvel’s Iron-Man 3. Walt Disney, which is building a theme park in Shanghai, last October said it would also open the world’s largest Disney-themed store (53,000 square feet) in nearby Lujiazui.
“This partnership marks the next step in You On Demand's commitment to provide rich and diverse content to customers anytime and anywhere on a wide variety of platforms, including mobile, digital cable, IPTV, over-the-top and online,” Shane McMahon, chairman of You On Demand, said in a statement.
McMahon’s father, Vince, owns and operates World Wresting Entertainment.
With Disney, You On Demand aims to expand its mobile distribution presence in China. In the recently announced distribution agreement with Huawei, You On Demand will add Disney titles via its newly launched mobile app, You Cinema. The App currently comes preloaded on Huawei Mate smartphones. Huawei is the third largest global smartphone manufacturer.
Since overtaking the U.S. last year in shipment volume, China's smartphone market is now the world's largest. Shipments are projected to grow 25% in 2014 to 450 million units from approximately 360 million in 2013, according to market research firm IDC.