You may not think that a company like Warner Bros. doing business in China is a big deal, but consider the circumstances. China, along with other parts of Asia, are notorious for piracy. It's more of a way of life there, and less of a crime. For whatever reason, it's rampant. Due to this, many content companies have strayed from actually selling a lot of their content there, for fear of it simply being ripped off and sold for less elsewhere.
But this marks a monumental change. Warner Bros. Entertainment has become the very first studio to offer films on-demand via television in China. YOU On Demand will operate under an exclusive 20-year joint venture with CCTV-6’s pay TV arm China Home Cinema (CHC), and the company will leverage YOU On Demand’s platform to provide a potential 200 million cable households access to the studio’s films on their television sets. YOU On Demand anticipates their service will be available in three million cable TV homes in China by the end of this summer, which is comparable to the subscriber base of top cable operators in the United States.
Will the experiment lead to more Chinese viewers getting content via legitimate means? Will it spur other studios to follow suit? Either way, we're glad someone broke the ice -- change can't happen without a catalyst.