Alibaba, one of the world’s biggest companies, is upping its reach in the ticketing, content creation, and live experience sectors after announcing the launch its own live entertainment business group.
The Chinese company’s Digital Media and Entertainment Group will pursue growth in the three sectors through subsidiaries Damai, MaiLive, and Maizuo.
The move comes after Alibaba acquired Damai earlier this year, buying 100 per cent of the company. Damai is already the largest live entertainment and digital distribution platform in China, currently operating in 330 cities globally with 46 branches.
MaiLive and Maizuo will work on supporting content partners and leveraging the group’s data capability for offline shows.
The launch fits Alibaba’s strategy of moving beyond its original e-commerce focus.
“To put it simply, our mission is to allow those who have fun shopping at Alibaba to go truly live with us,” said Yu Yongfu, chairman and chief executive of the company’s Digital Media and Entertainment Group.
“So in addition to shopping, we would like them to spend more time watching videos with us, getting information from us and listening to music with us, to come and game with us, among many other things.”
When the Damai acquisition was confirmed in March, Alibaba – which has revenue of $24bn (£18bn/€20bn) in 2016 – said it hoped to offer an enhanced service to its customers.
“Damai will be a powerful platform to distribute our media content as well as expand our user reach and engagement,” the company said, adding there would be synergies with its own entertainment units Alibaba Music, Alibaba Pictures and Youku.