Will Youku Become China’s Netflix?

Not long ago, the only way to watch movies like Inception in China was to buy a pirated DVD. Youku.com wants to change that by offering Western blockbusters through VOD and Netflix-like subscriptions. Does the site have what it takes to become China’s Netflix?

Chinese Video Site Tudou Will Be Going Public “Soon”

Tudou.com, the second-largest online video site in China, is making plans for an IPO on the Western markets, according to a report by Bloomberg. The offering, which Tudou CEO Gary Wang told Bloomberg was “inevitable,” comes as competition heats up in the Chinese online video market.

Vid-Biz: Hulu, Vudu, Youku

Why Hulu Will—And Should—Charge For Hulu Plus; When Hulu finally announces its subscription plans, it will have a small but critical window of opportunity to explain itself to the market. If it gets the details of the plan right, it will succeed. (paidContent)
Vudu Starts Offering Special Features With Avatar; What does the Vudu HDX version of Avatar have that the Blu-ray version doesn’t? Special features that you typically don’t get with a digital download. (Engadget)
Youku.com Authorizes Broadcast Rights for All FIFA 2010 World Cup Matches; FIFA and CCTV have jointly authorized Youku.com with online broadcast rights to all FIFA 2010 matches and on-demand broadcasts of CCTV’s self-produced FIFA programs. (TVover.net)
FiOS TV Widgets Get a Face Lift; Verizon has given FiOS TV widgets a new look and feel, and made the Widget Bazaar easier to navigate by adding categories. (Verizon At Home blog)
Web Video Budgets to Grow; According to a survey of ad agencies commissioned by the video network BrightRoll, 94 percent plan on increasing their Web video budgets this year. (Adweek)
UK’s First 3-D TV Goes on Sale; the Samsung UE40C700 40-inch 3-D TV with built in Freeview HD tuner is now available for £1,799 (about $2,750). (Tech Watch)
German Film Studio Axes Downfall Parodies on YouTube; Martin Moszkowicz, head of film and TV at Constantin films, said the company has a simple approach to the parody clips: “Take them all down.” (AP)
Level 3 Lands ABC News Deal; Level 3 announced that ABC has tapped it to move masses of video between its New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles ABC News locations. (FierceOnlineVideo)

Vid-Biz: Warner Bros., Kit Digital, Panasonic 3D

Warner Bros. Acquires Turbine, Developer of Lord of the Rings Online; Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the video game division of the Burbank movie studio, said it has acquired Turbine Inc., a Massachusetts developer of massively multiplayer online games. (LA Times blog)
Kit Digital to Power Tribeca Film Festival Video Site; the Prague-based video services company will power video on the Tribeca Film Festival site, which will feature several live events and clips from films from this and previous festivals. (Beet.TV)
Lions Gate Board Rejects Icahn’s Increased Hostile Takeover Bid; the maker of the Saw horror films rejected Carl Icahn’s increased bid to buy the studio for $7 a share, calling the offer “financially inadequate.” (Bloomberg)
Panasonic Ups 3D TV Production by 30%; Panasonic has already increased its 3D television production by 30 percent, as the company has been encouraged by a “strong reaction” to the technology from the general public. (Tech Radar)
CNET to Launch Slate of Web Video; CNET is adding to its growing collection of original video shows with the launch of three new series: CNET Tech Review, Tap That App and preGame. (MediaWeek)
Top China Video Site Steps Up Its Piracy Fight; Youku.com is trying to shed its reputation for abetting piracy by taking a page from YouTube’s playbook: using technology to “fingerprint” videos, making it easier to find unlicensed copies. (Wall Street Journal)