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Premium streaming video 3, YouTube 0: China's Tudou preps for IPO

Tudou, the number two streaming video site in China, is planning to file an initial public offering to raise up to $150 million on the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite stock market.

The Chinese streaming site is the latest in a slew of sites that stream premium content — though it also has user-contributed video like YouTube as well — to either go public or be the subject of rumors of going public. Hulu, another premium content streaming site, is also the subject of a few rumors of going public. The most recent batch of reports indicated that Hulu was preparing for a $300 million IPO.

Streaming premium content is on a hot streak, with Netflix being the clear dominant player. Netflix recently blew away expectations by adding 1 million new subscribers and seeing 27 percent year-over-year growth in revenue last quarter. The video rental site, traditionally focused on mail-order video rentals, also spent $115 million acquiring new content to stream online. Hulu is also introducing a premium subscription model, Hulu Plus, that will have more access to broadcast TV content.

Meanwhile, sites like YouTube and Vimeo that have focused on being a community for video sharing have had to follow strict copyright laws and aren’t able to stream content from broadcast networks like ABC and Fox. YouTube, one of the most popular sites on the Internet, has yet to become profitable (though Google swears it will be soon.)

Tudou plans to go public in the first quarter of next year, according to a report by Reuters. Tudou hired banks Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank to guide the IPO process. It hopes to raise between $100 million and $150 million, according to the report.

Tudou’s traffic is slightly behind another Chinese video streaming site, Youku. Tudou has a 16 percent market share of Chinese video streaming, compared to Youku’s 20 percent, according to the Reuters report. Its investors include IDG China, GGV Capital and General Catalyst Partners, as well as recent addition Singapore’s Temasek Holdings‘.

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