BEIJING, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — iQIYI, an independently operated subsidiary of Baidu (BIDU) and one of the largest Internet and mobile video service providers in China, today announced that it would buy distribution rights to over 1,000 U.S. movie titles in 2015 to satisfy growing demand from its users for U.S. content.
iQIYI’s webpage featuring Guardians of the Galaxy (file photo).
Over the last week, iQIYI CEO Gong Yu has led a team at the American Film Market (“AFM”), an event that attracts over 8,000 film industry professionals annually, to purchase content for Chinese viewers online.
“American movies are hugely popular in China. This summer U.S. films overtook Chinese and other international titles to become the most popular titles for paying viewers on iQIYI’s platform,” said Mr. Gong, “Through events like AFM we hope to expand our international partnerships, particularly for American motion pictures.”
iQIYI Senior Vice President Yang Xianghua said, “We hope Hollywood studios can shorten the window between U.S. release and online release in China to ensure that our users see Hollywood movies at the earliest opportunity. This would combat piracy and increase the revenues that Hollywood and other American movies can earn from online paying users.
“As iQIYI charges 5RMB for Chinese audiences to watch new releases online, the same cost for a pirated DVD, if American movies can appear online in a timely manner then Chinese users would prefer a good quality online version to a pirated DVD.”
In June of this year, iQIYI paying members watched more American movies than Chinese language movies for the first time ever. Views of American films also far surpassed those from other regions such as Korea and Europe. In September, Transformers 3 topped the list for online views with action pictures Killer Elite and the Hunger Games coming in number two and three, respectively.
Chinese viewers were also keen on science fiction and romance with Secretary and Season of the Witch in the top 10 for online views.
iQIYI is an independently operated subsidiary of Baidu, the world’s largest Chinese search engine, which launched on April 22, 2010. Since its launch, iQIYI has pursued the ultimate online video experience for Chinese users, becoming an industry model in promoting all-around innovation in products, technologies, and marketing.
On May 7, 2013, iQIYI announced a merger with PPS. According to IUT data released by iResearch in September, iQIYI and PPS are among the leaders in the industry in terms of all-platform user scale and duration of video viewed.
In the future, iQIYI will continue to pursue providing customers ever richer video content and a ceaselessly improving viewing experience.