Web shows shape future of programming

By Han Bingbin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-06-11 07:57:11

Web shows shape future of programming

Ma Dong, iQiyi's content director, says now is the golden time for Internet-based entertainment shows. [Photo/CFP]

A couple of years ago, it was still a general belief in China's online video industry that working with TV stations means greater influence and a better chance of success. But now China's major video websites have already been independently making programs that, with ever growing investments, are as appealing as TV productions and create even more social interest.

Ma Dong, former China Central Television producer and now leading video website iQiyi's content director, calls the period now the "golden time for purely Internet-based entertainment shows".

He told a recent industry forum, hosted by iQiyi, that this is because video websites are becoming more recognized as show producers rather than merely show players, which gives them more credibility to attract sponsorship.

Video websites are also proving to be better at catering to the tastes of younger audiences than TV stations, he says.

Those who watch entertainment programs in China are mostly between 15 and 24 years old, according to CSM Media Research. More than 53 percent of iQiyi's viewers are between 19 and 30.

"The popularity of online entertainment shows is the sign of emerging new values," Ma says. "By new values I mean the way young audiences today view and communicate with the world. Once you know it, you have the say."

According to statistics compiled by media consultancy EntMedia, last year China's five major video websites, including iQiyi, Youku and Sohu, produced and aired around 150 entertainment shows, a 200 percent year-on-year increase.

IQiyi's popular talk show Qipa Shuo, or You Can You Bibi, has achieved an unparalleled success.

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