It is reported that Youku will be holding its 2012 annual general meeting of shareholders on August 20, to vote on the proposal of approving the previously announced merger agreement between Youku and Tudou. According to insiders, the result might be different from what was predicted. The combined entity will probably result in three wholly owned subsidiaries: Youku, Tudou and Soku.
Previously, people had assumed the merger thing to turn into a “two brands, two sites with two selling systems” situation. It is still very probable, just added a new “partner”, namely Soku, the video search engine created by Youku which never drawn too much attention before. As some Youku staff revealed, this service indeed is a major project since its launch in 2010, but has not been really promoted by the company.
Now if Soku can be spun off and run independently, it could develop in a much better way. After two years of stealthily growing, Soku does show its value now. Especially when people concern over the tie-up between Baidu and iQiyi, the online video streaming service invested by Baidu. Soku seems a fairer search engine for video viewers.
Qihoo 360 also launched its own video search engine v.360.cn. According to Youku, about 10% of its monthly traffic was routed through v.360.cn.
Data from iResearch showed in May 2012, coverage rate of online video users reached 96%, and it’s still growing. “Soku could be a good bet for the company”, said an insider.