China’s Alibaba Group Holding has fully acquired online ticketing platform Damai.cn, marking a further push into entertainment as it expands beyond its core online retail business.
Damai was founded in 2004 and provides customers with the ability to purchase tickets to concerts, sporting events, plays and movies online. Damai says its service is available in 330 cities around the globe and has sold tickets to more than 1.8 million events. Alibaba first invested in Damai in 2014. The acquisition of Damai forms a strategic part of the value chain in Alibaba’s media and entertainment business. Damai.cn will be a powerful platform to distribute media content, expand user reach and engagement at the same time there would be synergies with its own entertainment units Alibaba Music, Alibaba Pictures and Youku.
At a time when its Chinese ecommerce business is becoming saturated, Alibaba is setting its sight on new markets with entertainment a big focus. Last week, Alibaba Pictures Group, the film studio owned by Alibaba, announced it inked a three-year agreement with its parent to share and co-develop content for Alibaba-owned businesses including Youku, the streaming video service in China. Alibaba Pictures and Alibaba will have “in-depth” cooperation on film and television content with Alibaba Pictures getting priority for copyrights that Youku, Alibaba Literature and Alibaba Games owns and vice versa for the Alibaba Pictures-owned content. The two will also jointly promote and distribute film and television content and that Youku, Alibaba Literature and Alibaba Pictures will co-invest in developing online movies.