Chinse mail order giant Alibaba will launch its own streaming video service to be called Tmall Box Office, or TBO, for viewers in China.
Content will come from China and other countries, as well as in-house productions, Alibaba’s Patrick Liu told reporters in at the 20th Shanghai TV Festival.
“Our mission, the mission of all of Alibaba, is to redefine home entertainment,” said Alibaba’s Patrick Liu. “Our goal is to become like HBO in the United States, to become like Netflix in the United States.”
No time schedule was given, but the launch is expected “within the next two months.” TBO will launch into a competitive online video market in China, where most content is offered free of charge. Alibaba, however, will probably use a freemium mode, where 10% of the content is offered free, but the remainder is by subscription only.
About a year ago, Alibaba joined forces with Lionsgate to launch a subscription streaming service available through Alibaba’s set-top boxes.
Just last week, Alibaba Group announced it has signed a strategic agreement with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) to leverage both companies’ Internet technology and media resources in order to penetrate China’s financial information services industry. As part of the strategic agreement, Alibaba intends to invest RMB1.2 billion into China Business News (CBN), a Chinese financial media company under SMG, to create a financial data and information services company that will help Chinese small and medium enterprises tap a rich mine of financial data.
Alibaba Group has also unveiled a deal with Dragon TV, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, to jointly create an entertainment platform that combines traditional media, the internet and mobile communications. Alibaba plans to add an online store, where fans can buys goods related to or seen in Dragon TV programming. (Picture courtesy Alibaba)