The “Netflix of China” Signs Streaming Deal with Warner Bros.


China’s iQiyi online video service entered into a streaming output agreement with Warner Brothers.

iQiyi, which is owned by Baidu, known as the Google of China, will have access to 200 films in the Warner Brothers film library.

Popular franchises include – Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Rush Hour, and hits such as Gravity.

The Netflix of China

iQiyi has launched in 2010 and is based in Beijing. The streaming company has access to over 9,000 films in its library.

According to FilmTake estimates, the company has 12 to 18 million paying subscribers. However, only 1% of iQiyi’s free subscribers have opted for the monthly premium service to date.

The online video market is dominated by the big three Internet portals: Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

Currently, iQiyi has licensing agreements with Sony, Paramount, Universal, Lionsgate, and several European and Asian distributors.

Exclusive Fox Film Rights

In 2016, Fox signed an agreement with iQiyi that will grant exclusive digital rental and streaming rights in China to all Fox theatrical releases. The deal included hits such as The Martian and The Revenant.

Dynamic Pricing Models

The Lionsgate output agreement signed in December 2016 incorporates all VOD pricing models – SVOD (Subscription), TVOD (Transaction) and AVOD (Advertising).

Similar to early-Hulu, iQiyi relies heavily on an ad-supported service. The paid premium option is available at a monthly cost equivalent to $3.25.

As late as August 2016, only 1% of iQiyi’s free subscribers opted for the monthly premium service. Consequently, iQiyi offers various transactional payment options.

Output Partners

In October 2015, iQiyi signed a multiyear licensing agreement with Universal for future films. Library films of franchises were also available, e.g. Jurassic Park ahead of the release of Jurassic World.

Earlier in July 2015, iQiyi contracted with Paramount to license up to 800 films. The deal covers popular film series’ – The Godfather, Transformers, Kung Fu Panda, Terminator, and Shrek.