BEIJING, June 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- iQIYI, China's leading online video service provider today unveiled three new plans to harness its strength in video content production at a summit dedicated to online dramas held in Beijing on June 9.
The 2017 China Online Drama Summit is among a dozen of high-level forums to be staged at the two-day 2017 iQIYI Technology & Entertainment World Conference in the Chinese capital from June 8 to 9. iQIYI hopes the summit can serve as a platform for the best brains in the online drama industry to explore new growth engine and set the future direction for the fledgling industry.
Attending the summit are Wang Xiaohui, iQIYI's chief content officer, Dai Ying, an iQIYI vice president overseeing the company's original content unit and some of the heavyweights from the industry including Hou Hongliang, chairman of Daylight Entertainment Co. Ltd, one of China's top TV drama studio and famed film producers and directors Feng Xiaogang, Han Sanping, Guo Jingyu and Teng Huatao.
Under the "Dolphin Plan", first of the three initiatives iQIYI announced at the summit, the company will spearhead an undertaking in production of super dramas for online viewers via a brand new business model which combines competitive tender, revenue-share and minimum guarantee agreements.
"The super online dramas" refer to multiple-season productions with a bigger budget and better quality control akin to popular TV shows in the United States and an episode, which usually runs from 45 minutes to about an hour, is streamed every week.
Future super online dramas to be streamed on iQIYI will be graded into three classes which will be tied to varied minimum guarantee and profit-share agreements that bind iQIYI, its partners and content providers into one community with good content at the core.
iQIYI has also reached strategic partnership with several big names in the film and TV industry including veteran Chinese film producer Han Sanping and film producer, director and action choreographer Stanley Tong who is behind Hong Kong blockbuster franchise Police to produce 15 super online dramas in the coming months, according to Wang.
"iQIYI commits itself to quality control because we believe good contents and creativity are the lifeblood of paid subscription," said Wang Xiaohui, CCO of iQIYI.
"The Dolphin Plan" only applies to super online drama productions and iQIYI remains committed to other agreements such as outsourcing and co-production deals in cooperation in other areas, according to Wang.
The number of paid subscribers for online video contents reached 60 million at the end of 2016, according to CEC Capital Corporation and estimates by the investment firm put the number at 100 million this year and up to 250 million a year by 2020, well outnumbering cinema-goers by then.
Number of clicks for online dramas tripled from 2014 to 2016 to 50 billion and iQIYI accounted for 60% of the online traffic towards online shows, according to local online entertainment statistics platform Guduo Media.
Amid breakneck growth, the industry however has been plagued by talent shortage, an issue iQIYi has sought to address in recent years.
To that end, iQIYi also rolls out two other initiatives - "Tiger Cub Plan" and "White Swan Plan" to nurture up-coming film producers, directors and play writers as well as aspiring actors. For example, under the "White Swan" plan, iQIYI will team up with some of the big names in the showbiz to set up training camps for young stars. iQIYI believes such initiatives are not only a boost to the company's own capacity in online drama productions, but also quality control across the industry.
To provide viewers with the best possible online entertainment, iQIYI will raise the amount of fund for each episode of online drams and try out multi-season dramas and weekly dramas modeled upon what has proven a success in the United States.
Our commitment to quality through good story-telling, craft and technology will transform online drama production from a sector marveling on quantity to an industry winning on quality and good partnership, said Dai Ying, an iQIYI vice president overseeing the company's original content unit.
"The film and TV industry in China is not troubled by a lack of money or technology, but shortage of good stories," Dai said. "iQIYI can certainly make a difference through partnership with producers, directors, actors and other talented people to supply our viewers particularly the quality-conscious young people with premium content."
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