Business / Technology

Korean drama sparks derivatives sales boom

By Ma Si (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-05 07:52

Korean drama sparks derivatives sales boom

A still of Korean drama "Descendants of the Sun". [Photo/IC]

A megahit South Korean drama is inspiring Chinese video-steaming website to explore e-commerce as a new way to grow revenue.

The popularity of Descendants of the Sun, which has been viewed a combined 1.92 billion times online in China, shows how companies can benefit from consumers who want to mimic styles of celebrities.

IQiyi, the official streaming site of the 16-episode drama in China, is seeing skyrocketing sales of items used by actress Song Hye-gyo, whose character is a doctor in the series.

The Beijing-based company, backed by Internet giant Baidu Inc, said the daily sales on its e-commerce site jumped by 180 percent in March after it started streaming the drama on Feb 24.

Sales of a Laneige cream from AmorePacific Corp surged by 10 times and a Daniel Wellington watch by eightfold.

"The whopping sales figures illustrate there is a huge demand for derivatives of quality content, such as clothing and cosmetics," iQiqi said in a statement.

The company did not disclose detailed numbers but said Guangdong, Shanghai and Beijing are the top three regions where consumers spend most on buying items used by actors in the drama.

To enable viewers to do shopping while watching, iQiyi has embedded shopping links into videos so that consumers can get what they want with a simple click of the mouse.

Wang Xiangjun, chief management officer at iQiyi, said: "E-commerce is an important part of our efforts to monetize intellectual properties. We will continue expanding our presence in e-tailing by selling products used in popular entertainment shows."

Chinese video sites are suffering from financial losses as they are paying big checks to purchase quality content.

iQiyi's arch rival Youku Tudou Inc is also teaming up with its parent company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to experiment on video-based e-commerce, so as to find new revenue sources beyond advertising and membership fees.

Pang Yiming, a senior analyst at Beijing-based Internet consultancy Analysys International, said South Korean dramas are of great and unwavering appeal to Chinese female consumers.

"Whenever there is a megahit Korean drama, there is always a wave of Korean beauty and fashion boom."

According to Pang, video-streaming sites are encouraging consumers to do impulse buying.

"Traditionally, it takes multiple steps for viewers to buy the same products used by actors. They need to search the item on shopping platforms, browse countless pictures and compare their prices.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks