Youku.com, Inc. (NYSE:YOKU - News), China's leading internet television company, and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (NASDAQ:DWA - News) announced today that they have entered into a first-of-its-kind online distribution agreement for rights to the DreamWorks Animation KungFu Panda franchise films in Mainland China.
Press Release from Youku.com, Inc.
BEIJING, Aug. 29, 2011 -- Youku.com, Inc. (NYSE:YOKU - News), China's leading internet television company, and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (NASDAQ:DWA - News) announced today that they have entered into a first-of-its-kind online distribution agreement for rights to the DreamWorks Animation KungFu Panda franchise films in Mainland China. This is the first time that DreamWorks Animation titles, which are distributed by Paramount Pictures, will be made available through an online platform in China.
Both Kung Fu Panda titles are available for on-demand viewing on Youku Premium and will subsequently debut on Youku's Hollywood Movie Channel after the paid viewing window closes.
"We're excited to add both of DreamWorks Animation's KungFu Panda movies to our online channels," said Victor Koo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Youku. "As technology matures and Chinese internet users increasingly turn to the web for entertainment, Youku has been able to expand on the traditional movie release roadmap through agreements for studio films such as Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2. Both titles have a proven track record of success with Chinese audiences, and we look forward to expanding our alignment with Hollywood studios in the future to offer even more compelling content."
DreamWorks Animation's KungFu Panda franchise has grossed over $1.25 billion at the worldwide box office to date and is wildly popular with Chinese audiences. In China, Kung Fu Panda was the #1 animated film of 2008 and Kung Fu Panda 2 became the fastest film in history to surpass RMB 100 million at the box office - in just two days. The DreamWorks Animation artistic team visited China to obtain cultural references for the KungFu Panda films, both of which feature lush environments, scenery and landscapes inspired by traditional Chinese art and architecture.
"Youku is an innovative company with extraordinary reach in China and we are thrilled that the KungFu Panda features will now be offered through their platform, which presents high-quality content to consumers online," said Kelley Avery, Head of Worldwide Franchise Strategy and Distribution for DreamWorks Animation. "It is particularly satisfying that Chinese audiences have responded so enthusiastically to the cultural references within our franchise and we look forward to making both Kung Fu Panda movies available to more and more consumers in China through Youku."
Youku is the leader among China's online video sites in introducing a new model for content distribution, under which recently released films become available for on-demand viewing for a certain period of time before becoming available on a subscription basis, followed by a free-on-demand basis. The model, which debuted with Chinese movies and recently expanded with the launch of the Hollywood Movie Channel, allows studios to monetize the online release of their titles while also ensuring that their films reach as wide an audience as possible.
About YoukuYouku.com Inc. is China's leading Internet television company. Our Internet television platform enables users to search, view and share high-quality video content quickly and easily across multiple devices. Youku, which stands for "what's best and what's cool" in Chinese, is the most recognized online video brand in China. Youku's American depositary shares, each representing 18 of our Class A ordinary shares, are traded on NYSE under the symbol "YOKU."
About DreamWorks AnimationDreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series, live entertainment properties and online virtual worlds, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE® Magazine for three consecutive years. In 2011, DreamWorks Animation ranks #10 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation's feature films are now being produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 22 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.
About Paramount Pictures CorporationParamount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE:VIA - News), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group and Paramount Television & Digital Distribution.