Alibaba, Yunfeng invest in Youku Tudou

Chinese internet giant Alibaba has made another major media acquisition by purchasing a $1.22bn stake in online video giant Youku Tudou. Alibaba and associate Yunfeng Capital will acquire a combination of existing shares and newly issue equity in Youku Tudou, which is listed on the New York stock exchange. Following the deal, Alibaba will hold a 16.5% stake in Youku

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Youku unveils smart TV, OTT partners

Chinese video streaming platform Youku Tudou has signed strategic partnerships with a slew of local smart TV and OTT manufacturers, eight of which involve exclusive integration of the pre-installed Youku Tudou app. The partnerships include four OTT companies: Huawei Technologies, which is projected to distribute 1.5 million set-top boxes this year; ZTE9 Network Technology’s Fun Box, described as China’s first

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Amazon greenlights two pilots

Amazon Studios has greenlit two new pilots – half-hour dramatic comedy The Cosmopolitans, directed and produced by Whit Stillman, and one-hour drama Hand Of God, directed by Marc Forster (World War Z).  Amazon’s third pilot season will debut later this year on Amazon Instant Video. Customers will be asked to provide feedback on the shows they want to see turned

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Marco Polo starts shooting for Netflix

Production has started on Netflix original series Marco Polo, created by John Fusco and produced by the The Weinstein Company (TWC). Based on the advertures of the 13th century explorer, the ten-episode first series is shooting in Italy, Kazakhstan and the new Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios (PIMS) in Malaysia. Netflix plans to premiere the series in late 2014.

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