Microsoft in 'strategic alliance' for Chinese online TV service

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and China's leading Internet TV service provider PPTV are joining forces to launch PPTV Asia TV Networks (ATN) on the Windows Azure platform, the two companies said in a news release.

The strategic partnership will produce a "one stop Internet TV service platform" that offers content and service providers a "new scale of business opportunities," the two companies added.

"PPTV chose Windows Azure platform because of its reliability, scalability and global availability, which can accelerate PPTV's international expansion," said PPTV CEO Chuan Tao in the news release. "PPTV creates an innovative user experience to deliver to global audience with global content, live and VoD, across screens. PPTV ATN innovates in the business model to create an ecosystem for content providers and service providers through revenue sharing. PPTV ATN is also the first to deliver complete video cloud service on Azure."

According to a strategic partnership memorandum the two parties signed Aug. 6, PPTV will use Windows Azure as its core infrastructure platform and will provide a cloud-based Internet TV solution. Additionally, the two companies agreed that PPTV will continue to explore other collaboration opportunities with Microsoft on online TV, media service platform and content delivery network (CDN) for its next generation domestic market needs. The partnership marks Microsoft's first cloud-based collaboration with a local Chinese media company.

"With Windows Azure, we can offer scale and flexibility not found anywhere else [and] can also avoid unpredictable resource and demand fluctuations globally," Tao continued. This, he said, will allow PPTV ATN to "pass on benefits to our partners, and in the end, to our global customers. This is a new competitive edge for business."

It all comes down to cloud computing, which "is widely recognized as the nerve center of the next generation of information technology," said Ya-Qin Zhang, Microsoft corporate vice president and chairman of Microsoft's Asia-Pacific R&D group, in the news release.

PPTV ATN's goal is to use the cloud to help global content providers upload content to a library and then license that content to local service providers through a revenue sharing model.

For more:
- see this news release

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