iQIYI Enters into Content License Agreement with Douyin

By Raffaele Huang

Chinese Netflix-like streaming platform iQIYI Inc. has agreed to license select movies and TV shows to China’s version of TikTok, Douyin, to re-edit into short videos for distribution on the app, ending the bitter copyright disputes between the two companies.

iQIYI will allow users of Douyin from ByteDance Ltd. and its other Chinese apps to create music videos using iQIYI’s content, according to a statement from Douyin on Tuesday. The two companies also set limits on how original movies and shows can be edited, according to the statement.

The cooperation “will expand monetization opportunities and create a win-win situation for both platforms, content creators and our users,” said Gong Yu, Founder and CEO of iQIYI.

The partnership was the first truce in a long-running battle between Chinese long-form video streaming platforms and short-form video sharing apps over copyright infringement. These apps run by companies such as ByteDance, Kuaishou Technology and Bilibili Inc. have taken viewers and advertisers away from traditional video streaming platforms.

In April last year, Chinese film companies and long-form video streaming companies criticized platforms that allowed the reproduction of original content and pledged to broadcast unauthorized clips.

Companies such as iQIYI, Tencent Video and Youku of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year buying and producing programs. Meanwhile, more user-generated clips based on long-form original content tend to go viral, helping to promote re-edited and featured movies and shows.

The partnership could bring Douyin users to iQIYI and increase iQIYI revenue starting in the third quarter, Citigroup analyst Alicia Yap wrote in a note to clients. The cooperation also marks a milestone and sets an example for the industry, she said.

Write to Raffaele Huang at [email protected]

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