Website launches project to nurture online features

By Han Bingbin ( ) Updated: 2014-03-20 16:41:09

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China's Internet video website recently launched an Internet Big Movie project to provide both a new business model for itself and a channel for movies, especially those that don't have a chance to hit big screens, to reach a wider audience.

China now produces more than 600 feature films a year, but no more than one-third of these have the chance to be shown in cinemas. China's rapidly growing online video audience has made it possible for such films to reach an even wider audience online than through regular cinemas.

Statistics from iUserTracker show that in January alone 481 million people watched videos on their personal computers and mobile devices. leads a list of the most watched video websites with 310 million users, who watched more than 1.3 billion hours of videos.

The online audience has shown a noticeable preference for traditional-length feature films over so-called micro movies, short videos that video websites usually produce for the online movie market. Internal statistics from show the longer a movie is, the more times it's watched. The five movies that were watched more than 100 million times in 2013 were all longer than 60 minutes.

Since iQiyi's online cinema was launched, the number of the website’s paid users has significantly increased, said the company's CEO Gong Yu at a forum on Tuesday. Gong said this shows online cinema has a large potential in China.

"In the future, iQiyi will invest more in Internet movies, so we can provide movie lovers the most comprehensive platform to watch films," Gong said.

The project will be more than just a broadcast platform, according to iQiyi's vice-CEO Yang Xianghua.

It will also serve as a fundraising channel and a growth platform for young directors, raising money for talented directors to try their ideas and hone their skills online, and also help them find a place in cinemas.

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