Chinese Video Sites Collaborate with Koreans Promote Dramas

China Online Video Partners KoreaSohu yesterday announced that it has established a strategic partnership with Korean entertainment company KeyEast, and will invest approximately USD15m to take a 6.4% stake in the company. Through the partnership, Sohu will become KeyEast’s sole online partner in China and the two companies intend to introduce more Korean celebrities and entertainment programs to the Chinese audience. KeyEast was founded by famous Korean actor Bae Yongjoon, who also enjoys great popularity in China. The company signed up actor actor Kim Soo-hyun has attracted a considerable Chinese following through the hit TV drama – “My Love from the star“. The total video views of the drama on iQiyi (the first online video platform to broadcast the drama in China) had reached approximately 2.6bn as of 8 August, with each episode hitting around 126.7m views.

Leading player YoukuTudou launched its Korean entertainment channel in the first quarter this year and has also partnered with Korean TV station SBS to co-develop drama products. In addition, iQiyi’s parent company, Baidu announced a partnership with Korean entertainment firm SM Entertainment in May, under which iQiyi and SM Entertainment will cooperate on the production of reality shows. We believe the companies may reduce the content procurement cost through such strategic partnerships. We also expect them to explore new monetization means involving content production and publication.

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