Chinese internet television company Youku (YOKU, quote) has signed a deal to license 250 movies from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Subscribers to the Youku Premium play-on-demand service are now munching popcorn in front of popular franchises like the “X-Men” movies, the “Aliens” series, and — of course — the Glee concert movie.
Youku was China’s first video website in 2006, and is now its most recognized online video brand. Like Youtube, it allows users to search for and view content on computers, televisions, and mobile devices. Its labs also produce classroom and music video applications.
The company launched the subscriber-only Youku Premium service in 2011, offering a variety of Chinese and western content, including movies and television from Disney and Warner Brothers. Youku Premium has processed over 1 million orders, with 13.5% of subscribers paying more than once per month to view content. Movie rentals are inexpensive by western standards, with the movies in the Fox agreement available at 5 RMB (about 79 cents) per viewing.
“We’re eager to make our entertainment content accessible to the widest audience possible in China,” said Jamie McCabe, an executive vice president at Fox. “With Youku’s on-demand platform, consumers can easily enjoy our films online with a quality viewing experience.”