Amazon may be grabbing headlines lately with the launch of big-budget series The Grand Tour and the international roll out of its streaming service underway, but the Seattle-based company isn’t the only e-commerce giant eager to move into the content production and distribution space.
Global retail competitor Alibaba Group, which operates its own VOD service in China, announced its most recent entertainment project — a six-part business-focused docuseries in collaboration with CNBC International and London-based video agency Hub.
The series, Pop Up Start Up, will debut in the UK on Dec. 16 at 10 p.m. GMT.
The series follows 12 aspiring manufacturing entrepreneurs who go head to head to win a £20,000 (US$25,000) cash prize. In each episode, two candidates are given seed money and challenged to mass produce and sell their products in a pop-up shop. Mentors and judges, including branding guru Rita Clifton, pop-up pioneer Roger Wade and Pete Wild from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, provide guidance and advice to the contestants on how to manufacture, import, market and sell their products. The contestant who makes the most profit each week wins the monetary prize
“We really see Pop Up Start Up as a great illustration of how to do business in today’s dynamic environment. We look forward to showcasing the huge talent of the contestants and hope to provide inspiration to UK startups and small businesses around the world on how to join in the new digital economy,” said Sophie Wu, president of wholesale marketplaces at Alibaba Group, in a statement.
Martin Conroy, executive producer at CNBC International, added the series “speaks to the network’s entrepreneurial spirit” and fits with its evening programming slate.
“We know our audience has a real appetite for business programming with personality,” he said.