Netease Tech, 3/03/10
Chinese online video service provider Xunlei has begun testing "Ruby Theatre," its premium video service. The service offers free online viewings of regular- and high-definition film content, and paid downloads for some newer films. Each film download costs two "ruby points," equivalent to about RMB 1-2. Encryption on the downloaded films allows them to be viewed on up to five computers.
Ruby Theatre currently offers 36 films. A source inside Xunlei revealed that as testing progresses, the company will continue to add films to the library. Xunlei COO Luo Weimin says Ruby Theatre will initially offer as many as 100 high definition films for download. The company has already set up a dedicated 'Ruby Theatre' discussion area on its official forum, and has begun promoting the new service on other software download sites.
According to Luo, the plan is to initially promote Ruby Theatre's HD downloads, with a move to promoting online viewing of HD programming in the second phase of development. After the final version of the theatre is launched, it will develop alongside Xunlei's Kankan online video service. Xunlei Kankan will continue to offer free viewing of content, and to rely on advertising revenues.