Chinese SVOD service Youku has partnered with Endemol Shine Group to develop two non-scripted original series. The digital platform will develop and produce the big-budget formats with the 21st Century Fox-backed producer and distributor.
The deal comes as Youku bolsters its presence in the original space with Weidong Yang set to give a keynote address at the Mip TV market in Cannes. Endemol Shine will produce the series via its Endemol Shine China division, which was created in 2015 and will distribute the series internationally.
William Tan, Managing Director, Endemol Shine China, said, “At Endemol Shine China, we have very skilled talent developing new and original content, and our co-developments allow us to create locally relevant and engaging shows for audiences in China. The additional support from Endemol Shine Group’s creative talent and network resources is critical in enabling us to supercharge our content and export our shows around the world.”
Yang, President of Youku, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, added, “Gone are the days where digital entertainment shows rely on imitating traditional linear channel shows. Digital entertainment shows will be the new engines of industry creativity.” He also made a statement last year during Youku Showcase to emphasize that the key trend in digital entertainment shows is to raise production values and story-telling techniques, together with the new innovative and creative directions that digital platforms are taking within the government’s standard censorship system.”