The linkage with the online video sites—Youku Tudou, Bao Feng, Feng Xing, LeTV and Ku6—comes as Alibaba seeks to extend the marketing reach of Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com beyond news portals, blogs and other traditional advertising vehicles.
This is also the first evidence of business synergy between Alibaba Group and Youku Tudou since Alibaba's announcement in April that, together with a private equity group, it would buy 18.5 per cent of the video site for US$1.22 billion.
By linking up with the video outlets, Alibaba is giving its e-commerce merchants access to a large base of video viewers. According to iResearch, 90 per cent of China’s 600 million internet users are being exposed to online video advertising, most of which comprises text-based in-video displays.
Zheng Rongqing, senior director of Alimama, said the company hopes to utilise its vast trove of consumer data to help merchants optimise their in-video ad spots, and thereafter drive more traffic to the Taobao and Tmall sites.