Since 2014, online film has seen rapid growth, but when compared with the other categories, namely network variety show and network TV dramas, it falls behind to some extent in terms of refinement, blockbuster effect, and diversification. How online film could keep a foothold in the new situation and usher in new development is a great concern to the entire industry.
On the morning of June 12th, the Internet Summit of Shanghai International Film & Television Festival in 2019 held a forum themed “New Content, New Model, New Promotion – Online Film in the Tide of Changes”. At the scene, guests from all walks of life sincerely discussed the development of the online film industry and jointly imagined the bright future of online film.
2019 Shanghai International Film & Television Festival Internet Summit Film & Television Forum·Group Picture of Guests at Online Film Forum
Face up to the present
The real "bottleneck" lies not in the environment, but in the industry itself
In 2019, new meditation is introduced to the once aimless online film industry. How to reshape the industry ecology and how to further promotion? At the forum, on-site, LIANG Jie, general manager of 阿里巴巴 Entertainment Youku Open Content Platform, YIN Chao, Founder and CEO of Tmeng, DONG Guanjie, CEO of Qishu Youyu, MOU Xue, CEO of New Studios Media Group, LU Fanxi, Co-CEO of Nice Film and Founder of Rabbit Hole, WU Yan, CEO of MSI shared insights in the “ecology and refined promotion of online film”.
After five years of development, online film has constantly grown to be healthy and orderly, but the problem of set pattern still prejudices the entire industry. As a result, there is no real blockbusters of revolutionary sense in domestic online film industry. As LIANG Jie, General Manager of 阿里巴巴 Entertainment Youku Open Content Platform, perceives, there are two pain points in the industry: First, since the beginning of this year, both the number of viewers and the duration of the entire online film viewing group haven’t seen significant increase; Second, how to find the effective user group and to measure project value with a long-term vision rather than the short-term effects.
LIANG Jie, General Manager of 阿里巴巴 Entertainment Youku Open Content Platform
LIANG Jie believes that the cautious attitude of the market in the first half of the year has objectively led to the postponement of many films, but even without these external factors, the online film industry is still facing the problem of upgradation urgently – the audience's viewing habits and aesthetic needs have changed, and if the overall improvement in the theme, script, and production could not be realized, the work cannot attract the audience emotionally and qualitatively, and that would then be the real “bottleneck” of the industry. WU Yan also held the idea that how to achieve the sense of identity with the public is an emergent issue to be addressed.
DONG Guanjie, CEO of Qishu Youyu
Facing the future, the guests mentioned that the online film industry should break the boundaries of thinking, put efforts into the necessary expansion of the theme and type, turn the focus from "platform preferences" to "user preferences", and form a content advantage in a down-to-earth manner. LU Fanxi, CO-CEO of Nice Film and the founder of Rabbit Hole, suggested that the industry should mine good stories from the real materials being transmitted widely among the online audience, take root in the reality, probe into real life and spread positive energy.
LU Fanxi, CO-CEO of Nice Film and the founder of Rabbit Hole
Find a way out
Platform empowerment + production upgradation, the promising “10 million era”
In just a few years, the production cost of a single online film has exceeded 10 million. When both the cost of the project and the income of the sub-ledgers rise rapidly, the overall production, being more market-oriented, will grow more rational in production quantity inevitably. The "10 million era" is promising and full of opportunities.
Focusing on the "production of online film", LU Yang, head of the 阿里巴巴 Entertainment Youku Online Film Center, XIANG Shuiliu, Founder and CEO of Xiang Bros Studios, HUANG Lulu, General Producer and CEO of Jiangsu Zhonglele Film and Television Media Co., Ltd., and SHEN Haobo, CEO of X Iron Group, had a heated discussion.
HUANG Lulu, General Producer and CEO of Jiangsu Zhonglele Film and Television Media Co., Ltd.
HUANG Lulu noted that in the current situation, the key lies not in controlling costs but in how to rationalize the cost structure. Lu Yang, with a similar point of view, believes that it is not enough for both online film and cinema ones to have big IP and leading actors and actresses only. What really matters is to create with a revering and dedicated attitude. The tolerance and acceptance of the online audience have been relatively high, and the aesthetic iteration has been very fast. In addition, with the dramatic index changes at the entire OTT side, the rapidly growing home entertainment, and the return of big screen ecology, there are great chances for the development of online film.
XIANG Shuiliu, CEO and Producer of Xiang Bros Studios
Judging from the overall pattern of online film, the three platforms, namely Youku, iQIYI, Tencent Video, firmly control the head market. In the past two years, major platforms have also continuously improved their infrastructure and launched support policies to help quality content and quality teams grow rapidly.
At the forum, LU Yang, General Manager of 阿里巴巴 Entertainment Youku Online Film Center, also released the “Jinxiu Project”, announcing that the company will participate in investment and publicity in the future, and jointly produce high-quality online films with first-class online film companies. Six industry head online film companies, Tmeng, Qishu Youyu, New Studios Media Group, Zhonglele, Xiang Bros Studios, and Rabbit Hole, joined the project and became the first partners. Youku will provide all-round support for the partners in terms of funds, data and promotion. At the same time, it will take advantage of the 阿里巴巴 economy and maximize the industrial value.
LU Yang, General Manager of 阿里巴巴 Group Entertainment Youku Online Film Center
It is worth mentioning that Youku also announced that it will join hands with X Iron to launch the first "seasonal film" – WOMEN IN BEIJING, starring DENG Jiajia, WANG Ju, and PEI Bei. This trend is undoubtedly a renewed upgrade of the "serialization" trend of online films, which is conducive to empowering the valuable individual IP, and then incubating "sustainable" fine works for the industry. High-quality content and head content have always been the core driving force of the entertainment industry. This is not exceptional for online films, which will meet with a bright future by building up its strength now.
“Putuo: convergence of wisdom – Film forces gathering in Shanghai for a connected world”
The 2019 Shanghai International Film & Television Festival Internet Summit was held in Putuo District, Shanghai from June 11th to 12th. This year, the summit, focusing on "fine works", featured Internet Summit Dialogue, Internet Summit Themed Forum, Internet Summit Film & Television Forum, Internet Summit Film & Television ceremony and other events.