Alibaba All Set To Launch Movie Streaming Service
Alibaba All Set To Launch Movie Streaming Service

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company after selling several million televisions to its Chinese buyers has decided to sell them stuff to watch as well.

Reuters reported on June 14 that the service known as 'Tmall Box Office' (TBO) the will offer its viewers with a mix of third-party and in-house content, as well as domestic and foreign videos.

It also told that almost 90% of the content on TBO will be paid for either by subscription or per broadcast.

An Alibaba spokeswoman told Quartz the service will run through Alibaba's set-top box, which gets content from Wasu Media, a film distribution company that Alibaba founder Jack Ma has invested in.

So far Alibaba has not responded to requests for information about set-top box sales, but 176,000 households bought one during last year's 'Single's Day' alone.

"Our mission, the mission of all of Alibaba, is to redefine home entertainment. Our goal is to become like HBO in the United States, to become like Netflix in the United States ", Alibaba's head of digital entertainment told Reuters.

It is now said that the deal could prove beneficial for Netflix, which was reportedly in talks with Wasu recently about doing business in China. Netflix has recently begun securing the global distribution rights for in-house and third- party titles.

As per experts, the upcoming launch of TBO could pave the way for Netflix's arrival in China as a content distributor instead of a consumer-facing brand. It is no secret that piracy in China deeply cuts into revenues for movie theaters and content providers alike. But the true hurdle for Alibaba in China's video streaming market will be the number of competitors that are already offering premium content, often for free.

It was not immediately clear how the service would fit with Youku Tudou Inc, one of China's biggest video streaming platforms in which Alibaba bought a 16.5 % stake last year.