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Fan takes over Damai as Alibaba integrates ent businesses

China’s Alibaba Group has appointed Fan Luyuan, the president of its Alibaba Pictures film division, as president of the Damai event ticketing platform, as it seeks to better integrate its various music and entertainment properties.

The reshuffle – which also sees Yang Weidong, president of video platform Youku, become president of music streaming service Ali Music – forms part of a “push for a unified entertainment strategy and stronger synergies” between the three platforms, says the company.

Alibaba, the world’s largest retailer, turned over nearly US$40bn in the 2017–18 financial year. It acquired Damai, China’s largest seller of music, sports and theatre tickets, last March, and also has plans for an artist management company and booking agency, both largely tailored towards funnelling content to Youku (‘China’s YouTube’).

Alibaba kicks live plans into gear with Damai buy

Last September, Alibaba’s $7.2bn Digital Media & Entertainment Group announced the launch of a dedicated live entertainment division, to encompass ticketing, content creation and the live experience.

In a letter to employees, Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang says: “In the year and a half since Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group was established, all of the business units have strengthened and made advancements in their respective fields. The digital media and entertainment matrix is on its way to fighting with stronger coordination.”

Zhang Yu, the former president of Alibaba Music and Damai, will move to a new, unspecified position within Alibaba Group.

Elsewhere in the ticketing space, Alibaba owns movie ticketing platform Tao Piao Piao, which has more than 290m users, or a roughly 44% marketshare. The company says it hopes to capitalise on the synergies between it and Damai to provide a one-stop shop for the consumption of entertainment.

 


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Alibaba to launch artist management operation

China’s Alibaba, the world’s largest retailer, is to launch an artist-management company as part of its ongoing investment into the global entertainment business.

A new Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing by Alibaba Pictures reveals it and fellow Alibaba brand Youku – a video-hosting site frequently dubbed ‘China’s YouTube’ – “propose to establish an artist-management to provide talents for both parties’ film and television and other relevant content production”.

Of particular interest to the live music industry is the “relevant content production” part, which could potentially tie in with Alibaba Pictures’ long-rumoured expansion into live entertainment.

It may also point to a move into managing the careers of young Youku vloggers, similar to Kilimanjaro’s Free Focus with YouTubers in the UK, although no further details are yet available.

Alibaba has committed to investing more than $7.2bn in entertainment over the next three years

The company’s ticketing operation,Tao Piao Piao – formerly Taobao Dianying (‘Tabao Movie’) – was rebranded last May with the launch of a strategic partnership with China’s leading live entertainment ticket agency, Damai.cn, through which Alibaba it is expected to move beyond film ticketing into live events.

The launch of the as-yet-unnamed management agency comes amid the signing of a wide-ranging strategic partnership between Alibaba Pictures and its controlling shareholder, the Alibaba Group proper, which establishes a “value-chain ecosystem for the cultural and entertainment industry, [in which both] parties will integrate their respective resources and jointly develop high-quality content projects on the basis of mutual benefit and reciprocity”.

Alibaba has committed to investing more than US$7.2 billion in entertainment over the next three years, although it has yet to provide specifics on investments.

 


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