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More drama in online video competition

By He Wei in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2013-02-18 10:15

More drama in online video competition

College students producing a micro movie in East China's Jiangxi province. Eyeing the potential of the online micro movie market, Internet sites are now collaborating with third-party program makers as a way of attracting audiences and, consequently, advertisers. [Photo / China Daily] 

A new and different form of competition is engulfing online video companies. Instead of bidding against each other for one episode of a TV drama, Internet sites are now collaborating with third-party program makers as a way of attracting audiences and, consequently, advertisers.

PPS Network TV, a major interactive TV provider, has joined hands with Kunhong Media, a Shanghai-based entertainment producer, to make a micro movie in a new approach to its marketing strategy.

The 20-minute film, titled The Most Familiar Stranger, stars popular local singer Xue Zhiqian, who also composed and sang the theme song that has been downloaded more than 1 million times a day since its debut on Jan 8.

More drama in online video competition

The script was developed by Kunhong, an entertainment marketing firm, and the movie was directed by Zhao Xiao'ou, a winner of the Golden Rooster Award, one of China's most prestigious film awards.

The idea is to highlight the song by creating a television experience around it and thereby bring the program into Karaoke facilities nationwide, according to Jiang Xianfu, executive vice-president of PPS.

"We'd like to integrate resources by combining micro movies, MTV and the KTV platform, creating a unique marketing strategy for our company," Jiang said.

In this way the movie is effectively extended from online portals to offline arenas, Jiang said, so that when people get attracted to the song, they will want to watch the movie.

While major video sites have been hit by copyright issues and are struggling to make a profit, PPS has seen increasing earnings since 2009, largely fueled by soaring advertising revenue and steadily growing fee-income including value-added services, Xu Weifeng, president of PPS said last year.

The days when online sites duplicate the shows of TV stations are long gone. In a similar move, Sohu Video, an arm of the online video business of Web portal Sohu Inc, announced a strategic partnership with media giant Star Group Ltd in December, becoming the company's exclusive new media partner.

Sohu Video will invest more than 100 million yuan ($16 million) to obtain the exclusive online broadcasting rights of China's most popular music talent show, The Voice of China, in 2013, said Deng Ye, president of Sohu Video.

Total online visits to the show exceeded 1.5 billion in 2012, according to statistics from CSM Media Research.

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Micro movies facilitate free grass-roots expression

Chinese enterprise to build "micro-movie" production base

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