Disney and Alibaba are bringing Mickey Mouse to China, holding the digital keys to a new kingdom with DisneyLife streaming service.
Disney and Alibaba chose the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to leverage global attention for the launch of the DisneyLife subscription streaming video-on-demand service, which is already available in the UK on Tmall.com for $15/month.
The new venture showcases Disney and Pixar’s movies, animation series, games, e-books, songs, travel services, and Disney theme parks and resorts. The $125 Mickey Mouse-shaped device is available for pre-sale on Tmall.com for a one-year subscription.
The service is the result of a multiyear licensing agreement between Walt Disney and China’s Alibaba offering OTT access to all things Disney, reports The Verge. Similar to Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV, the device plugs into TVs and streams DisneyLife digital content from the internet.
Films available through DisneyLife include Frozen, Cinderella, Big Hero 6, The Lion King, Tangled, Toy Story, Monsters University, Cars, The Incredibles, and animated series Sofia the First, Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and My Friends Tigger and Pooh.
“For nearly a century, Disney’s focus on quality storytelling and innovation has delivered audiences around the world the best stories, shared moments and extraordinary experiences,” says Luke Kang, Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company, Greater China, in a press release. “DisneyLife directly connects us to China’s digital population and provides millions of kids and families the ability to explore and engage with Disney.”
In addition to robust entertainment choices, users can plan a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland or the Shanghai Disney Resort, scheduled to open in spring 2016.
“As we deliver on our goal to meet the needs of a consumers’ daily life, DisneyLife, launched by Alibaba Digital Entertainment Business Unit together with Disney, will provide the only holistic and trusted family-friendly digital destination in China,” says Wei Ming, Co-President of Youku Tudou Business Group and General Manager of Alibaba Digital Entertainment Business Unit, in the press release.
Disney is making a big push into China as the Shanghai Disneyland theme park readies its debut. The project was “delayed by the Chinese government over concerns about deference to the country’s culture,” notes The Verge.
Disney had annual revenues of $52.5 billion in FY 2015. But with a desire for more, 87-year-old Mickey Mouse is packing his bags for China.