LeEco’s EcoPass content service is coming to the U.S. and the Chinese company has already wrangled Lionsgate, MGM, A&E, Showtime, Scripps, Hearst and more as content partners.
At a launch event in San Francisco, Jeff Briller, North American general manager of content for LeEco, unveiled the complete list of partners for LeEco’s streaming service which will work across the company’s smartphones, TVs and, in the future, connected cars.
Briller, who previously worked a director of content acquisition at Netflix and ran DirecTV’s feature film pay-per-view platform, said that customers who purchase LeEco’s ecophone or ecoTV will receive a free preview subscription for the EcoPass video service. As the Wall Street Journal points out, LeEco won’t announce how much the service will cost per month until CES in Las Vegas this January.
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer took the stage at the launch event to praise the work his studio has already done with LeEco. Feltheimer said that some of Lionsgate films did better in China than they did in the U.S. because of LeEco’s help with distribution. He also announced that Lionsgate has licensed a “significant amount” of content for LeEco’s U.S. video service.
In addition to its U.S. launch partners, LeEco said that it would be announcing another content partnership on Nov. 2, one that Briller said would “truly break all boundaries in this country.”
LeEco’s streaming service is powered by the company’s global cloud platform, which it says features more than 750 CDN nodes, 30 Tbps of output bandwidth, and serves 1.1 million clients and billions of users. In China, LeEco’s streaming service counts more than 730 million monthly active users.
But in the U.S., LeEco will have to compete with Netflix as well as Hulu, Amazon Prime and an ever-growing crop of SVOD services.
Indeed, as LeEco was rolling out news of its content plans in the U.S., CBS was reportedly finalizing a licensing deal with Google’s upcoming Unplugged service which will run across its YouTube platform. In addition, 21st Century Fox, Disney and Viacom are also in talks to join the service.
Of course, Disney and Fox are also onboard for Hulu’s upcoming live-TV service. Disney, Fox, NBCUniversal and Time Warner are all part owners of Hulu.