Disney to show movies and cartoons on Netflix-like platform in China
Disney won’t let you watch some of its most popular films on Netflix after next year -- but in China, they’ve just partnered with one of the country’s biggest streaming sites to host its content.
Disney signed a multi-year licensing deal with Alibaba, delivering more than 1,000 animated classics and live-action movies to Chinese households through streaming website Youku and Alibaba’s set-top boxes.
(Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.)
It’s a sharp contrast to what Disney is doing in the US. The company is pulling content from Netflix and others to build up a library for its own streaming service, set to launch next year.
Disney actually tried that approach before -- in China. In 2016, the DisneyLife streaming service (also in partnership with Alibaba) was scrapped just a few months after launch following a crackdown by Chinese internet regulators.
Many Western companies are relying on local partners to break into the tightly-controlled Chinese market. Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox, NBCUniversal and others have all signed similar broadcast deals with Alibaba.