(Yicai Global) Aug. 22 -- China's online movie market is booming as consumers' demand for films shifts from cinemas to the Internet.
The online movie market is expected to reach CNY1 billion (USD150 million) this year, according to Mr. Yang Xianghua, senior vice president of iQiyi, China's largest video platform by paying users.
"Users' demand for an online film market is huge. We are at a golden era of purely online content production. Any content may become a huge hit. But, unquestionably, touching quality content is more likely to excel," said Mr. Yang.
Last year nearly 700 online films were released and that figure is likely to reach 2,200 this year. These low-cost films can be produced in just one to three months. They are a great creative outlet for little-known directors and actors scorned by the traditional movie-making market.
The Xianbanxiaoyuan series introduced by iQiyi earlier this year had over 10 million hits in the first 72 hours of its release. Some online films have already been played more than 100 million times this year. The online movie Goodbye Mermaid, released this year by Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s online video arm, has had hits of over 100 million.