Youku is one of the biggest websites for video in the world. Millions of people, chinese for the most, connect daily and find high level content. Youku is not a pale copy of Youtube. It is more about professional online TV.
As we know, Video content rules the internet. And when we look to the digital landscape, Youtube is the market leader. Some competitors like Vimeo or Dailymotion try hard to compete but the “broadcast yourself” strategy is really unbeatable. Nevertheless, in some areas in the globe, Youtube is not a mainstream, especially in China as there are strong restrictions to this website. So Chinese developed their own video streaming channel.
It was launched in 2006 by Victor Koo (previous CEO of Sohu.com). Today Youku is the leader for online video in China with more than 40% of market share. Almost 300 million monthly users in 2011. In average, each user stays one hour per visit. It places Youku in the 10th position of most popular websites in china and the 52nd in the world (Alexa ranking). In order to find its way, Youku went away from the single model of content produced by the users towards professional content. In deed we can consider Youku as a online TV channel. 1,500 companies signed a contract with youku, so they can display their content. Disney has a contract since 2010. Thanks to all these contracts, Youku has today more than 2,000 films, 1,500 tv series and mangas. In a total of 250,000 hours available, it makes it one of the biggest online TV in the world.
In order to increase their offer, Youku also proposes TV shows and films from Hong Kong, Taïwan, Japan, South Korea and even from the western world. 70% of content comes from different professional partnerships, 20% from users and 10% from the integrated Youku Production teams.
According to Victor Koo: “On Youtube you can find amator’s content. On Youku it is all about Television and Cinema.”
Youku has recently made different partnerships with China Mobile, Nike, Dell and Samsung. This will generate revenues to the group. Another recent development it is the mobile content. In deed, Youku wants to develop specific content for mobile and tablets.
For the moment, Youku is focusing mainly in China but the potential is huge.
Do you Youku? Yes I do…