Shao Yiding, CEO of Voole, announced at the China Internet Conference that Voole has signed digital distribution deals with Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers Pictures, Koreanbroadcaster MBC and Hong Kong companies Media Asia, Sundream Motion Pictures, Universe Films, Mandarin Films and Filmko. Most of the deals were closed earlier this year.
China now has around 300 web-sites offering video-watching or video-sharing services. Around 30 of these offer feature-length films. However, only a few own distribution rights to Hollywood movies.
Shao said the company had signed exclusive digital distribution deals with Sony and Warner Brothers on the two studios' upcoming releases. Voole has also acquired rights of the two studios' old releases in packages, such as the Spider-man series and the Matrix series.
According to Zou Changxing, communications director of Voole Technology, Voole purchased the film distribution rights on a revenue-sharing basis, which is considered unique in digital distribution deals in China.
The studios will enjoy a share of the film's online revenue, as well as the film's copyright protection revenue, that is, revenue or compensation money from lawsuits or settlement for the protection of the film's intellectual property rights.
'In a way, we serve as an agent to protect the copyrights of these film companies,' Zou said.
According to Zou, Voole's paid online film services charges RMB1 to RMB5 per film, or RMB5 to RMB15 per month, for unlimited viewing. The current online viewing system is a Beta version and a new system will launch in November. So far, around one million registered members are using the Beta version for movie-viewing.
Voole.com is part of the Union Voole Technology set up by Shao Yiding in 2006. Before Voole, Shao was a co-founder of Raynetwork Group, which specialises in advertisement business for the internet and telecom carriers.