ONLINE MOVIE MAKERS

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China’s leading Internet and mobile video service provider iQIYI announced at a major industry conference today that its online movie business would be fully connected with iQIYI’s open platform, which would enable movie producers to benefit from iQIYI’s core competence in data analytics, artificial intelligence and marketing resources.

The plan is unveiled during the iQIYI Technology & Entertainment World 2017 – Online Movie Summit on June 9 in Beijing. The summit gathered nearly 1,000 industry leaders and professionals engaged in online movies. Giving keynotes and joining discussions include Mr. Yang Xianghua, senior vice-president of iQIYI, Mr. Wang Zhonglei, president of Huayi Brothers Media Group, Mr. Zheng Zhihao, CEO of Maoyan Movie, Mr. Yin Xingliang, CEO of New Studios Media and Ms. Wu Manfang, Dean of Management Department of Beijing Film Academy.

 

“In the past, what we are doing as an online movie platform is mainly to guide content producers in procedures and policies. Yet we will redefine our services in 2017,” said Mr. Yang.

“iQIYI will provide an open platform to connect content creators with viewers in a more intelligent manner and help them in content creation, operation as well as monetization. By doing so, we can effectively lower the risks for content creators and share a vision with all of our partners.”

According to the plan, iQIYI will make available its online movie viewers’ profiles, behaviors and marketing conversion data on top of the box office revenue-sharing data it releases regularly. The in-depth data services provided by the leading video platform boasting the largest number of subscribers in China are expected to give content creators a better understanding on the latest market dynamics and trends and facilitate them to adjust their marketing strategies.

In addition, producers can also create their official accounts on iQIYI and maximize the value of their contents and brands by providing exclusive shows and live interaction among subscribers.

iQIYI is also set to diversify the cooperation models by co-developing popular literary IPs with partners. iQIYI’s portfolio of major entertainment businesses including the news portal, social networking, e-commerce and live streaming services will also be made available to producers for movies’ publicity and distribution.

China’s current online movie market is embracing an explosive growth. As many as 1,900 movies are expected to be available on iQIYI in 2017. iQIYI estimates that the number of online movies with a share of revenue over RMB 1 million will almost double in 2017 compared to 2016, and those with a share of revenue over RMB 10 and 20 million will also increase significantly. With the participation of professional content production companies and traditional film studios, more and more theatre-level works are emerging on the online movie market.

Mr. Wang Zhonglei of Huayi Brothers said in his keynote speech that the Internet has provided new distribution channels for movies, and all the filmmakers and producers should not miss the huge opportunities created in this cyber world. Yet whether online or offline, engaging contents were always the key to attract viewers, he added.

On the Summit, iQIYI announced the cooperation with China’s leading movie information platform Maoyan Movie. iQIYI’s movie schedule and box office data will be incorporated into Maoyan’s data system and the two parties will jointly set up a dedicated online movie database.

Earlier this year, iQIYI has joined hands with Tencent Pictures, New Studios Media, 20th Century Fox and other major partners to carry out the New Movie project, supporting 10 young film directors and create 10 premium online movies by developing 10 potential comics IPs. Besides, iQIYI also launched a plan to support talented young directors on iQIYI platform in partnership with Dadi Digital Cinema, CCTV-6 Movie Channel and Zhengfu Pictures.

As the creator of the concept of “online movie” and a leader in this business in China, iQIYI is steering each transformation in the nation’s online movie market. In 2017, iQIYI will continue to provide holistic AI-enabled services by means of resources on its open platform and help make every content creator’s movie dream come true.

The cinema industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of film-making, i.e., film production companies, film studios, cinematography, film production, screenwriting, pre-production, post production, film festivals, distribution; and actors, film directors and other film crew personnel.

Though the expense involved in making movies almost immediately led film production to concentrate under the auspices of standing production companies. Advances in affordable film making equipment, and expansion of opportunities to acquire investment capital from outside the film industry itself, have allowed independent film production to evolve. Hollywood is the oldest film industry of the world and the largest in terms of box office gross and number of screens.

Currently, the largest markets by box office are United States, China, United Kingdom, Japan and India; and the countries with the largest number of film productions are India, Nigeria, and the United States. Other centers include Hong Kong and in Europe the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany are the countries that lead movie production. The worldwide theatrical market has a box office of forty billion euros annually.

Distinct from the centers are the locations where movies are filmed. Because of labor and infrastructure costs, many films are produced in countries other than the one in which the company which pays for the film is located. For example, many U.S. movies are filmed in Canada, many Nigerian movies are filmed in Ghana, while many Indian movies are filmed in the Americas, Europe, Singapore etc.

There is a theme to Dwayne Johnson’s life, and that theme is never settling. Johnson vividly remembers a moment in the mid-90s when he was being driven back home to Tampa, Florida, by his father after getting cut from a Canadian Football League team, his dreams of an NFL career dashed. He looked in his wallet and saw he only had seven dollars left. That stuck with him, and it has fueled him ever since.

Fast forward to today. The Rock has become a household name as both a wrestling legend and a global movie star. Perhaps less well known is that Johnson and his business partner, Dany Garcia, have quickly gained ground in Hollywood as producers, too. Their production company – aptly named Seven Bucks Productions – is behind many of Johnson’s most high-profile projects, including this year’s Central Intelligence, next year’s Baywatch, and HBO’s most popular half-hour series in years, Ballers. Now the duo has set its sights set on conquering the online world, launching a digital channel named Seven Bucks Digital Studios this past summer.

The power in the entertainment industry is shifting to the superstars, and the smartest among those stars are finding ways to capitalize on that trend and emerge as business leaders. Dwayne Johnson is a key example—he is an extremely talented individual stepping up by not only excelling on the creative side, but being serious about the business side, too.

Dany Garcia is the woman behind the Rock, and an incredibly accomplished executive in her own right. Hers is a path that might look a little more familiar to business world: she studied finance and marketing at the University of Miami, worked at Merrill Lynch, and founded her own wealth-management firm, all before Dwayne asked her to take over the management of his enterprise. That she’s also Dwayne’s ex-wife and that they have a terrific working relationship makes the story really unique.

Stars like Johnson build a successful media business that cuts across film, television, and online media. Johnson was the first A-list actor to launch a digital channel. It will be interesting to analyze how that move fits into the broader picture of how his brand and company are evolving. Dwayne’s career speaks for itself. And Dany is running a billion-dollar business, all while competing as a professional bodybuilder. They’re both grabbing every opportunity available to them and are running with it, full speed ahead. It’s incredibly inspiring.

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