Using the 'fan economy' to build franchises

By Satarupa Bhattacharjya/Mei Jia ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-09-17 07:49:24

Using the 'fan economy' to build franchises

Poster of the latest Tiny Times film. The shows and films are examples of how online books are being adapted in China. CHINA DAILY

With a surge in the copyright trade, online communities where literature is discussed can be found at sites like Jin Jiang and Douban. Tech companies offering web entertainment are also vigorously developing phone apps that roll film-viewing and social forums into one, with Icast Show, Yi Zhibo, Meipai and Miaopai to name a few, Gu says.

That writers are reaping the riches from this trend is evident from available data.

In 2015, the market for online literature in the country touched 7 billion yuan ($1.05 billion), an increase of 25 percent from the previous year. It is estimated to rise by 2 billion yuan this year.

Online literature has helped many writers realize their creative dreams and has given cheaper access to literature to millions of Chinese, Wu Shulin, deputy director general, Publishing Association of China, said at the annual cross-media StoryDrive event in Beijing in May.

According to Hou Xiaoqiang, founder of the Shenzhen-based entertainment company China Wit Media, 14 of China's 20 top-grossing films and 30 percent of the popular TV series were derived from copyrighted content in 2015.

Even so, a certain amount of skepticism remains.

Liang Zhenhua, a professor at Beijing Normal University, senses a threat to serious literature from this trend but calls it transformative nevertheless.

Xu Fan contributed to this story.

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