LeEco and Netflix may share content
Updated: 2016-08-04 07:33
By MA SI(China Daily)
The Netflix sign is shown on an iPad in Encinitas, California, April 19,2013. [Photo/VCG]
Details could be revealed in September, as the Beijing-based firm ups US moves
Chinese internet major LeEco is in talks with online video-streaming site Netflix Inc for possible cooperation in content, and details could be announced in September, as the Beijing-based firm steps up efforts to expand its presence in the United States.
The deal, if it goes through, could also serve a steppingstone for California-based Netflix to crack the China market, which it has been eyeing for a long time, analysts said.
A source familiar with the matter confirmed to China Daily on Wednesday that LeEco was looking for content partners in the US, where it will launch its smartphones and TVs this year.
"The deal with Netflix will be announced in September," the source said, declining to offer more details.
Jia Yueting, co-founder and head of Le Holdings Co Ltd, also known as LeEco and formerly as LeTV, poses for a photo in front of a logo of his company in Beijing, April 22, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
The news came shortly after LeEco spent $2 billion on acquiring Vizio Inc, a major US television manufacturer, which is expected to give LeEco about 20 million big-screen users. The firm also purchased land in California as the center for its overseas operations.
Shen Meng, director of Chanson & Co, a boutique investment bank in China, said Netflix was likely to let its shows play on LeEco's video-streaming platform in the US.
"But I don't think it will help a lot," Shen said.
"Netflix already has a sprawling network of US distribution partners and it is unlikely for LeEco, a newcomer in the US, to have exclusive access to Netflix's content, which will then have limited appeal to American consumers," Shen said.
LeEco started as online video-streaming site, but managed a rapid rise by selling internet-enabled devices that are bundled with video content. In China, it sells smartphones and TVs that include a LeEco membership that allows their users to watch TV shows and movies.
Since January, the company has intensified efforts to go global, listing the US, India and Russia as its key overseas markets.
Huang Guofeng, an analyst at Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys International, said the deal may also allow Netflix to leverage LeEco's distribution channels and subscription systems in China.
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