Baidu, China’s own internet giant had announced its own Video channel website just two months back.Keeping all the censorship rules in mind, they planned to stream ad-supported video content, tapping the 162 million yuan ($23.73 million) worth of China’s online video market.
The site is called Qiyi. The direct competition for Qiyi would be China’s most famous video sites like Youku, Tudou, Sohu Video and 56.com.
Providence Equity Partners will invest $50 million into Baidu’s video company called Qiyi. Baidu will continue to maintain majority ownership in the company. And has appointed Yu Gong as the head of this company.
Providence has a history of financing media and entertainment projects and has earlier invested in companies including Hulu, Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network,and Warner Music Group. Along with investing it has great experience in managing businesses that distribute licensed content online.
Jonathan Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of Providence says .“We are very pleased to partner with Baidu and are confident that this new venture will become an industry leader, As the world’s largest Chinese language internet search company and also the dominant video search engine in China, Baidu has unmatched competitive advantages in its user base and traffic.The new venture will provide users with a first-class viewing experience, and will work with regulators to ensure the lawful distribution of professionally produced media and entertainment content on the internet.”
Qiyi will be following Hulu’s model and will not support user-Generated Content (UGC) and will solely concentrate on High-Definition, Copyrighted video content with the revenue flowing in from the video-advertisements. It’s expected Qiyi would host +1,000 licensed movies, +1,000 TV series along with thousands-hours long cartoon, documentary, TV programs etc and some of the content will be exclusive.