Youku – the leading online video provider in China (300 million monthly viewers) – has partnered with NBCUniversal to bring a range of current, classic, and upcoming movies to its audience on the Youku Premium service.

The agreement has been described as “multiple-year” and will let Youku in on more than 100 classic titles. Additionally, Youku will also be able to feature upcoming NBCUniversal releases. These new movies will become available for on-demand viewing after their China theatrical premieres.

This deal makes it clear that Hollywood sees a big opportunity in markets where the internet is just starting to become a mainstream thing. In China, for example, as much as 90 percent of movie revenues come from the box office, while in the US it’s around 30 percent.

Hollywood understands that this simply translates into piracy. Since there are not that many ways of getting movies through legal means people will always find “other” ways.

The deal can therefore be very profitable to both sides. Youku will have a great range of movies to show its audience, and Hollywood will see new revenue they would otherwise never see.

This deal is also proof that movies as a market are still hot. Even when it comes to the classics. For instance, some of the titles that are part of this deal: Schindler’s List, The Mummy trilogy, Jurassic Park franchise, Apollo 13, Trainspotting, Being John Malkovich, and The Big Lebowski.

Previously, Youku signed similar deals with Disney, Paramount, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox, which only means that the company doesn’t expect any recession-related problems. Instead, they’ve decided to continue expanding their range of services.

What’s In It For Affiliates?

First of all, movies are still hot no matter where you’re doing business. If you’re in this market, you shouldn’t probably wonder how to leave it and start doing something else, but how to find new relevant offers your existing audience would enjoy.

Secondly, movies are REALLY hot in all the emerging markets. Essentially, everything we’ve been accustomed to in the US will most likely be considered new in other parts of the world. Most of the time a specific promotional method that has been successful in the US should be at least worth a try abroad.

If you’re thinking about joining the movie niche, now can be the right time. Companies like Netflix and Blockbuster have been around for a while and are known for their quality affiliate programs with lots of promotional material.

Do you have any thoughts on how affiliates can get a piece of the movie-on-demand pie market in China?