BEIJING, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- With more than 800,000 downloads in the second quarter of this year, the free Youku app for devices running iOS 3.0 and higher has grown to become the most popular online video application in China's iTunes App Store, and the second most-downloaded application overall.
Youku announced on September 7 that it would be the first video site in the world to make its entire video selection available for viewing on the iPad and iPhone 4. Since September 18, when the iPad first became available in China, visits from iPad users have grown to account for an average of more than 50,000 unique visitors per day – or approximately one in six of China's estimated 300,000 users of grey-market and official iPads – with a daily average of 250,000 video views, or more than 100,000 hours of viewing time. Growth among users of the more mature iPhone, including the newly available iPhone 4, has been even more marked.
In addition to its presence on the iPhone platform, the Youku app also comes preloaded by exclusive arrangement on a number of major smartphones, including the Nokia N8 and Sony-Ericsson X10i. With native Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Android clients, Youku offers support for all major smartphone platforms, regardless of the handset manufacturer or operating system.
While the majority of China's 740 million mobile subscribers still use traditional handsets, smartphone use is growing rapidly, particularly among young urban professionals. Since 3G smartphones first became commercially available in China last year, the number of smartphone users has grown by approximately 10 million. During the same period, more than 4.6 million smartphones shipped with the Youku app.
In addition to viewing Youku's entire library of video content, iPad and iPhone 4 users can forward videos to friends, post comments, vote videos up or down, and take advantage of the full range of sharing and interactivity offered by the site. In a recent interview, Youku CTO Yao Jian explained that the site's real-time video cross-conversion software allows for real-time conversion of the site's Flash video content into formats supported by the iPad and iPhone 4, while Youku's nation-wide content delivery network allows users of iOS devices to enjoy the same smooth viewing experience as PC users no matter where they may be.
Youku recently partnered with China Mobile, China's largest wireless telecom operator, on the "GSnap" mobile video competition, in which mobile users send in their user-generated content for consideration. To date, Youku users account for the bulk of 3G UGC uploads, with nearly 5,500 videos uploaded during the first stage of the competition.
The Youku app for the iPhone and iPad can be downloaded at: http://itunes.apple.com/cn/app/id336141475?mt=8
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