Alibaba Pictures said it has officially set up an entertainment licensing business unit to deal with authorized merchants of brands and intellectual property rights holders.
Jack Yi, senior director and general manager of consumer products at Alibaba Pictures, said it's also a major step for merchants to cater to consumer demand and target more specific fan groups.
Movie production houses are seeking to raise brand awareness and drive revenue beyond box office receipts, but normally it takes about six months to a year for derivative products to be designed and produced before finally being launched into the market, he noted.
Major studios from home and abroad have realized that not only can the sale of movie-related merchandise generate additional revenue, but these products can be used to effectively promote films.
Alibaba Pictures will join hands with other subsidiaries within the Alibaba ecosystem to leverage the consumer base across Alibaba's digital media and entertainment units, including Taobao and Tmall shoppers as well as Youku's online viewers.
In the future, the entertainment licensing unit will be eying merchandising of not only movies and TV series, but also video games, animation works and other pop culture icons from home and abroad.