Revenues from China’s online film market could match the country’s box-office revenue within the next five years, according to iQiyi, a Netflix-like online service.
Websites like Baidu’s iQiyi, that streams movies, are becoming extremely popular sources of entertainment for Chinese consumers, as Yang Xianghua, iQiyi’s senior executive, recently explained at the Busan International Film Festival in Busan, South Korea, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
“We are here in Busan to introduce the opportunities that online distribution of film, via VOD, PPV and subscription, offers in China,” said Yang said. “The VOD market is growing very fast, with an increase of 500 percent year to year. Due to the quota limits on theatrical distribution for foreign films, online distribution is a good choice when entering the Chinese market.”
Earnings in the online movie market are still low in China, in large part due to issues with piracy. Recent moves by the Chinese government, including their “growing penetration of online content” and efforts to crack down on IP theft are making things more lucrative for online movie providers, however.
“In China there is no DVD market, no Pay TV market,” Yang explained. “Online will make up for that missing market. The anti-piracy efforts by the government are much stronger than before, and the willingness of internet users to pay for films is increasing.”
Online movie providers are also branching out of China as the market grows. iQiyi recently announced that it will be shooting seven local films and one Hollywood film in 2015. Youkou Tudou, China’s largest online television company, is also collaborating with South Korean film companies for upcoming productions.
image credit: iQiyi