Alibaba Pictures Group has entered a strategic, three-year cooperation agreement with its parent company Alibaba Group, which will see the companies pool together respective resources for “mutual benefit and reciprocity.”
APG, which is majority owned by Alibaba Group, made the announcement on Tuesday, specifying that the deal would be aimed at building a strategic alliance for long term co-development of content. Both parties will look to work closely together on the rights of their respective film and television content, meaning Alibaba Group will give priority to APG for granting exclusive rights of works from its entertainment strands such as Alibaba Literature, Alibaba Gaming and Chinese streaming giant Youku.
Additionally, the deal will see both parties work together to cross-promote and market content from the each other and will also see the parties work to establish an artist management company.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group saw its digital media and entertainment business up 273% to $585M year-on-year in the third quarter of the financial year ending December 31, 2016. This was largely driven by the consolidation of video website Youku Tudou coupled with an increase in revenue from mobile value-added services provided by UCWeb, such as mobile search, news feeds and game publishing. But the sector was also the biggest loss maker in the company year-on-year that quarter, with losses increasing to $463M (up from $156M in 2015).
Last year, APG took a stake in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and now it is coming off of its first big win under the partnership. A Dog’s Purpose this weekend leaped over Logan to take the number 1 spot at the Chinese box office in its second frame. Through Sunday, it had grossed $52.7M. Alibaba Pictures used its marketing and promotional muscle in China to position the film to pet-owners with huge audience reaction on its Tao Piaopiao ticketing platform.