BesTV NewMedia just announced that it had acquired 35% of Funshion for US$ 30 million, a move to help the company branch out into multiple platforms. Founded by SMG (Shanghai Media Group) in 2005, Shanghai-based BesTV is one of the first Chinese IPTVs.
Funshion was also set up in 2005. The service developed its own patent technology like FSP to speed up P2P-powered online video streaming. It currently provides users with Windows client, iOS apps (for both iPhone and iPad) and Android app. Previously a Windows client is required to play around with its vast video repository, even if you just want to watch the video from browser. The restriction was later on removed because it though to some extend prompts some people to install Funshion’s Windows client but also send more prospective users away, especially when all the other video sites like iQiyi, Youku and Sohu Video open up to anyone.
As of now, Funshion claims a DAU of 20 million on a total of 270 million registered users. It’s client software ranked top three among its peers.
In addition to video streaming, Funshion also built up a SNS centered on TV shows and movies and an ad network dubbed AdVideo in 2008. According to Funshion, AdVideo generated RMB over tens of millions in revenue in 2008.
Funshion has always been an advocate of long video or premium contents, while Youku and Tudou first started as UGC service and then pivoted to the so-called Hulu model, namely attracting users as well as advertisers with quality contents.
BesTV believes that the acquisition will achieve some sort of synergy between the two on fronts like technology, content, marketing and so on. It’ll also ramp up BesTV’s strength on Internet.