Alibaba Pictures has made an investment in Showtime Analytics, an Irish movie data startup, through Yueke (a.k.a. Finixx) – its cinema ticketing system subsidiary. The company stated that Showtime and Finixx will collaborate to develop products specific to the Chinese cinema industry, according to e27.
Showtime Analytics a good fit for Alibaba Pictures
Showtime Analytics was founded in 2014, and it provides data analytics products and services to cinema owners and film distributors. This allows them to collate, analyze and visualize their operational data in real time to deliver insights that drive improved business performance. Currently, the Irish company employs 30 full-time staff, notes e27.
Showtime CEO Richie Power said, “We want to help cinema owners and film distributors to unlock the potential of their data and help them understand more about the types of films being made, how they’re being made and marketed, and how audiences are responding to them.”
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Yueke is a leading cinema ticket software system service in China. It serves more than 2000 theaters and several online movie-ticketing platforms such as Maoyan, Mtime, Alipay, Gewara, WeChat Movie Ticket and QQ Movie Ticket through its Finixx system. In 2015, Alibaba Pictures fully acquired the company for RMB830 million (around $120 million).
Yueke General Manager Li Xiangxiong said that the merger of Showtime’s capabilities with Finixx and the advantages that Big Data from the Alibaba ecology offers will help Yueke expand its portfolio of data products and services.
Second investment outside China
Alibaba Pictures, currently valued at $9.6 billion, has been aggressively investing in building out assets across the film and television production, distribution, and ticketing line. In July, the company launched an investment fund of $300 million with a focus on film and television production.
Recently, Alibaba’s film and entertainment arm acquired a stake in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners. In May, Alibaba’s ticketing subsidiary, Taobao Piao Piao, raised RMB1.7 billion ($260 million) in Series A funding, valuing the company at over 13.7 billion RMB.
In the past, Alibaba’s film and entertainment arm has made investments in major Hollywood blockbusters like Star Trek Beyond and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. This is its second investment outside China and the first by its subsidiary Yueke/Finixx. It is expected that by the year’s end, China will overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest movie market.
On Tuesday, Alibaba shares closed down 0.65% at $90.40. Year to date, the stock is up more than 11%, while in the last six months, it is up almost 16%. The stock has a 52-week high of $109.87 and a 52-week low of $59.25.