Alibaba's VOD service TBO has soft launch


Rebecca Hawkes

| 04 September 2015

China's e-commerce giant Alibaba has entered the beta launch phase for its video streaming platform Tmall Box Office (TBO), making it available to some users of its connected TVs.

Select viewers are able to access Chinese and foreign TV programmes and films from RMB39 (US$6.10) per month, according to TechInAsia.

"The Tmall Box Office is in a beta launch phase and it has been rolled out on certain models of the Tmall Box. Alibaba Group is committed to providing high quality and engaging content to users on a variety of devices to meet their entertainment needs," Alibaba said in a statement.

Alibaba has licensed a number of shows and movies from Lionsgate, including Mad Men and Twilight, which are now to be streamed by TBO in China. Content from Alibaba Pictures is also expected to feature heavily in the TBO VOD library.

Eventually, the service will be accessible via connected TVs and over-the-top (OTT) set-top boxes.

About 90% of TBO's on-demand content is expected to be subscription-based or available via pay-per-view, while the remaining 10% will be free.
Alibaba's online service will compete with a number of video streaming sites in China, in a market led by Youku Tudou and iQiyi.