Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, is planning to launch an over-the-top (OTT) video service in India in the near future in partnership with Paytm and mobile Internet subsidiary UCWeb. This was announced in an official statement by Alibaba. Alibaba is a majority stakeholder in Paytm, while UCWeb is a subsidiary of Alibaba’s media and entertainment business.
In its efforts to present top-notch content, Alibaba has already been searching the Indian market, looking for quality content creators and production houses in Mumbai. Furthermore, the ecommerce giant is also in the process of hiring a Strategic Alliance Head, which will be stationed in Gurugram. Apart from that, efforts to hire a Strategic Alliance Head for Video in either Mumbai or Gurugram are also on.
In its home market China, Alibaba has an OTT presence through Youku Tudou (Chinese equivalent of YouTube), it acquired the sites in 2015 for an approximate value of $4 billion. Together the two sites have a combined user base of 500 million.
What this new OTT will face as competition with be Facebook Watch all set to launch in India by March 2018. Alibaba’s OTT video service is expected to use user generated content. Alibaba’s content based products UCWeb and We-Media already use user generated content. We-Media is operated by UCWeb. Users can post their own content in the form of articles, photos, videos, etc, on We-Media.
The Indian video market is currently being Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Viacom 18-owned VOOT, OZee (by Zee TV) and YouTube.