From the People’s Daily app.
This is Story in the Story.
As disposable income levels increase among China’s tech-savvy younger generation, a new business has emerged surrounding intellectual property rights related to online literature, scripted dramas, movies, digital games and comics. And it’s a business sector that is gaining momentum across the country.
Millennials, particularly those born from 1995 to 2000, are demanding a different entertainment culture than what was popular among their parents.
The pan-entertainment industry is now a driving force for the nation's economic growth. In 2017, it generated more than $70 billion dollars, a 15 percent increase year-on-year, according to a report from Gamma Data Corporation.
High-definition smartphones, processors, mobile Internet technologies and multi-functioning software have made on-screen reading and video-watching more enjoyable and convenient.
Statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center demonstrate the rapid growth of the blossoming internet trend. Data shows that among the 772 million Chinese netizens, 97.5 percent are mobile phone users, providing a massive base for the new digital business.
Chen Rui, chairman of Bilibili, a popular Chinese video-sharing site that currently has the largest group of young Chinese anime, comics and gaming fans, said there was a clear difference in the demand for culture and content between millennials and their parents.
"The increased material wealth, high-quality education environment and Internet access are shaping the diversified and personalized cultural needs of younger generations," Chen said.
And China’s younger consumers are willing to pay for the entertainment they really love.
Seeing the emerging trend, domestic companies are introducing a wide range of related products targeting the millennial demographic, and many have already started to reap the benefits.
In today’s Story in the Story we take a look at how China’s millennials are fueling a new entertainment industry filled with historical television dramas along with the latest in gaming and app technology.
Cast members of online drama "The Story of Yanxi Palace" pose for a stage photo. (Photo: China Daily)
The Internet drama The Story of Yanxi Palace, co-produced by Chinese online video streaming service provider iQiyi.com and Huanyu Film, has a huge following among Chinese netizens.
Ma Shicong, an analyst at the Internet consulting firm Analysys, said key online video participants who invest heavily in this emerging sector to fuel development will be rewarded with larger shares of the market.
According to iQiyi, the series has received over 15 billion online hits. It is currently available in more than 70 markets globally, making it one of the most widely distributed series produced by China.
Since it was founded in 2010, iQiyi has reported continuous annual growth. Last year, the company hit 17.4 billion yuan, a 54.6 percent jump from the previous year.
A key driver behind iQiyi's revenue growth is the subscription fees for its online video streaming services. Revenue from the subscription fees accounted for 37.6 percent of its total income in 2017, compared to an 18.7 percent share in 2015.
The company claimed it had more than 50 million subscribers by the end of 2017, with roughly 126 million daily active mobile users throughout the year’s last quarter.
"Major tech giants all aim to boost the future development of video streaming arms to be at the forefront of the Chinese entertainment market. The competition in this sector will become fiercer," Ma said.
Mobile gaming is another emerging sector fueled by millennial demand.
Show girls from Perfect World Co. Ltd pose at the China Joy expo in Shanghai. (Photo: China Daily)
A report from Gama Data also found that mobile games based on other forms of IP products contributed 74.56 billion yuan to China's economic output in 2017. They also accounted for more than 60 percent of the total revenue of the mobile games sector.
Wang Xu, chief analyst at Gamma Data said as the country's demographic dividend is disappearing, gaming developers need to explore new methods of business expansion.
"Driven by the love for great copyrighted cultural products, netizens will be willing to experience related works as games are suitable carriers. And the IP rights-protected products will help reduce the cost for developers to attract users," Wang added.
Lu Xiaoyin, chief operating officer for Perfect World Games, a Chinese movie and gaming company, said young people prefer a specific culture embodied within the game, and they also like the latest apps.
Because China is the global leader of the online culture industry, it has become a pioneer in addressing new problems.
Si Xiao, president of Tencent Research Institute, said the online literature business loses more than 10 billion yuan each year to piracy.
According to Si, IP-protected products have become the driving force for the online culture industry and greater attention should be given to IP protection efforts.
Si explained that protecting IP from infringement and piracy will inspire original creations and innovation.
"It will take years to foster a better environment, and I believe new technologies such as blockchain will help protect IP," Si said.
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Lance Crayon, Raymond Mendoza, and Da Hang. Music by: bensound.com. Text from China Daily.)