iQIYI Plans to Ramp Up Online Drama Production


iQIYI has unveiled three new plans to leverage its strength in video content production, including a pledge to making “super dramas” for online viewers.

Under the “Dolphin Plan,” the company will lead a push in the production of so-called “super dramas” for online viewers through a brand-new business model that combines competitive tender, revenue-share and minimum guarantee agreements. The super dramas refer to multiple-season productions with a larger budget and better quality control and an episode length that runs from 45 minutes to about an hour to be streamed every week. Future super online dramas to be streamed on iQIYI will be graded into three classes, which will be tied to varied minimum guarantee and profit-share agreements that bind iQIYI, its partners and content providers into one community.

iQIYI also reached strategic partnerships with several big names in the film and TV industry—including veteran Chinese film producer Han Sanping and film producer, director and action choreographer Stanley Tong, who is behind the Police franchise—to produce 15 super online dramas in the coming months.

“iQIYI commits itself to quality control because we believe good contents and creativity are the lifeblood of paid subscription,” said Wang Xiaohui, CCO of iQIYI.

The service is also rolling out two other initiatives: “Tiger Cub Plan” and “White Swan Plan” to nurture upcoming film producers, directors and playwriters as well as aspiring actors. Under the “White Swan” plan, iQIYI will team up with some of the big names in the showbiz to set up training camps for young stars.

The plan is to raise the amount of funding for each episode of online dramas and try out multi-season dramas and weekly dramas modeled upon what has proven a success in the U.S.

“Our commitment to quality through good storytelling, craft and technology will transform online drama production from a sector marveling on quantity to an industry winning on quality and good partnership,” said Dai Ying, an iQIYI VP overseeing the company’s original content unit.

“The film and TV industry in China is not troubled by a lack of money or technology, but shortage of good stories,” Dai added. “iQIYI can certainly make a difference through partnership with producers, directors, actors and other talented people to supply our viewers, particularly the quality-conscious young people, with premium content.”