Discovery Communications and Chinese search engine Baidu, Inc. have launched a stand-alone content site.
The site, discovery.baidu.com will provide users with a platform in which to interact and share knowledge about categories associated with the Discovery brand, including science, technology, space, natural history, engineering, paleontology, archaeology, history and culture.
Baidu will manage the Web site, while Discovery will be the exclusive content provider. The content offerings, which will be customized and translated for the Chinese marketplace, will be ad-supported with Baidu and Discovery sharing the responsibility and revenue from third-party advertising sales.
Baidu officials said it is the fastest-growing Chinese online platform and has already captured a 73.2% market share for search requests. In 2008, approximately 246 million users in China utilized search engines, with the total number of requests for Web page searches exceeding 150 billion. In 2009, it is estimated that the number of search engine users in China will exceed 300 million.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, expands Discovery's presence in China, where the company first began delivering programming blocks in 1998 from Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Travel & Living, Discovery Home and Health and Discovery Science. Moreover, Discovery Channel is available as a 24-hour channel in hotels and foreign compounds throughout China.
"The launch of discovery.baidu.com represents an important step in building stronger brand awareness and consumer loyalty for Discovery in the key Chinese market," said Greg Ricca, president and CEO, Discovery Networks International, in a statement. "This deal with Baidu furthers Discovery's strategy of increasing reach and distribution in key markets around the world while further leveraging the global appeal and long shelf life of our content categories with an innovative new partnership."
Noted Baidu vice president of marketing and business development Ren Xuyang: "Baidu's mission is to help people obtain information and find what they need in the easiest and quickest way, while Discovery is a leading provider of high-quality factual content. By combining the strengths and resources of Baidu and Discovery, we can integrate content from a traditional medium such as television with dynamic platforms such as new media, to satisfy the needs and demands of online users while continuing to explore newer and better ways for knowledge distribution."