Youku (YOKU) has reached a multi-year content deal with FremantleMedia, the Bertelsmann unit responsible for producing American Idol, X Factor, Project Runway, and many other popular shows. 202 hours of programming will be made available in year 1.
Youku's content spend has been growing rapidly, as the company tries to stay ahead of Baidu, Sohu, and other rivals in a competitive Chinese online/mobile video market. Youku's content costs rose 46% Y/Y in Q2 (outpacing rev. growth of 30%), and equaled 40% of revenue.