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Alibaba Building Youku to Be the Netflix of China

Alibaba's Youku platform battles top competitors. For the December quarter, Alibaba said Youku's average daily subscribers increased by 64% over the past year. However, the company has been noticeably quiet when it comes to releasing a specific figure for its monthly viewers. Out of all the digital-video viewers in China, eMarketer estimated 24% would subscribe to Tencent in 2018, while 23% would subscribe to iQiyi and 22% would subscribe to Youku. However, the research firm believes that Youku could overtake iQiyi by the end of 2019. While Alibaba hasn't released specific viewing figures for Youku, the platform was estimated to have 374 million monthly active users as of December 2017, according to Quest mobile figures. The company last estimated it would spend $8 billion on content in 2018 but has been quiet about a specific content budget going into the New Year. Some estimates say the top U.S. video streaming platform could spend up to $15 billion on content in 2019. Netflix is constantly defending its strategy of going into debt to fund its content spend because it believes high-quality programs are the best way to grow its subscriber base.

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