From January 23, the day when Wuhan went on total lockdown, the country has been fighting the coronavirus.
During the period of nationwide quarantine, tourism, the catering industry, and the film industry missed the Golden Week of the Spring Festival and Valentine's Day and home entertainment become the only outlet for entertainment.
Data shows that online dramas are picking up and demand is surging.
This year's long video traffic market in seven days after the Spring Festival ushered in a straight rise. Last year it peaked at just 1.9 billion views a day. This year it has climbed to almost 2.5 billion, according to the data released by Yunhe, a big data analytic company.
In terms of the number of TV series broadcast on the Internet, the average daily effective broadcast volume in the first week of the Spring Festival in 2020 did not decline as in previous years but increased by 16 percent. The trend continued in the second week, reaching an increment of nearly 30 percent.
This increasing number is surely the consequence of people staying home and having plenty of time to kill, but at the same time, such a result is also inseparable from online video sites' quick responses during this special period.
Chinese historical dramas as main force
Every year January and February are costume drama gathering months. Audiences of Chinese historical dramas returned to the screen during this winter holiday.
Last year's "The Story of Ming Lan," 2018's “Nirvana in Fire II,” 2017's "Eternal Love" all received top traffic during the Spring Festival. Historical dramas were the main force driving traffic on websites, such as iQIYI and Tencent.
From January 23 to February 25, iQIYI, Tencent, Youku, and Mango TV launched 19 new dramas; seven of them are Chinese historical dramas, accounting for over one-third of the total.
Pay for Video-on-demand gradually accepted
Although the flow is going up, the overall decline of the big consumer industry brings video sites a considerable negative impact, especially in advertising.
Under such circumstances, further expansion of membership income seems crucial. The hit historical drama "Joy of Life" brought on a heated debate a few months ago due to the extra fees on top of paid premium memberships.
Despite the backlash from some viewers, pay for Video-on-demand is being gradually accepted.
In February this year, iQIYI's flagship series "iPartment 5," "The Grand Lord," Tencent's "Eternal Love, the Pillow Book" all demand the payment of extra fees from viewers wanting to watch new episodes before anyone else.