Beijing-based streaming platform iQiyi has struck a deal with Warner Brothers International Television Distribution for streaming rights to more than 200 library titles including the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
The deal also includes the Harry Potter franchise, Godzilla, Gravity and The Great Gatsby. In a recent financial report, iQiyi’s parent company Baidu said the platform doubled spending on content to $1.13bn in 2016.
It also has licensing deals with Fox, Lionsgate and other US studios, along with Japan’s Shochiku and European companies including Protagonist Pictures and StudioCanal.
While spending heavily on acquisitions, iQiyi is also increasing investment in Chinese-language co-productions and in-house productions through its iQiyi Motion Pictures arm. It also acquires Chinese content from local studios including Wanda Pictures, Huayi Brothers and Bona Film Group.
During the annual Filmart (March 13-16) contents market in Hong Kong, the company was selling a slate of wholly-financed, in-house productions headed by Lu Yulai’s My Town, which was selected as a Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) project in 2015.