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Youku Tudou Inc. Stock Pops on Disney News

By Steve Symington - Jun 2, 2015 at 11:30AM

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Is Youku Tudou's jump meaningful? Or just another movement?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Youku Tudou (NYSE: YOKU) were up 9.7% as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday after the company announced it has partnered with Disney (DIS 1.75%) to form a new "Marvel online movie marketing partnership."

So what: Specifically, Youku Tudou will be the exclusive online video marketing platform in China for Disney's Marvel collection of movies and TV series, driving awareness for the brand via trailers, online ticketing, live events, and -- without offering additional details -- "original programming dedicated to silver screen movies." 

Youku Tudou points out that online marketing efforts were a significant contributor to boosting box office revenue in China for Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. For example, Youku Tudou notes Winter Soldier alone collected almost 800 million Chinese renminbi in the country, a massive improvement over the 80 million RMB achieved by Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011. To be fair, it also helps that Cap received enormous exposure given his role the following summer in the global blockbuster Marvel's The Avengers, but the big online push Youku Tudou cites undoubtedly played a role. 

Now what: Youku Tudou CEO Victor Koo elaborated, "These partnerships, like the one with Disney, are multifold and give Youku Tudou the opportunity to use its strengths to further its business model and drive future revenue streams through high-quality content, innovative marketing efforts, and merchandising channels."

With a captive audience of 500 million unique monthly users, it's no surprise Disney chose Youku Tudou for this partnership. And though specific financial terms weren't disclosed, Youku Tudou would be crazy not to seize the opportunity with Disney to exclusively promote and develop a world-leading brand like Marvel in China. All things considered, that's why I can't blame the market for bidding up shares of Youku Tudou today.

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