China Drama Market Tops $1.2bn


Provincial Chinese TV stations have become the most powerful buyers of domestically-produced drama series in an industry that is now worth RMB7.6bn (US$1.2bn), according to new research.

Chinese drama sales rose to RMB7.6bn in 2011, up 28.37% from RMB5.92bn in 2010. That figure was RMB4.85bn in 2006.

However, provincial channels are now bigger buyers of television drama than state broadcaster CCTV, while traditional television networks are still the main outlets for scripted series in China, with a 90% market share, the Research and Markets: China TV Drama Industry Report 2011-2012 said.

"Video websites and other new media have lower market share, but they develop quickly and have entered the oligopolistic competition stage,” it said. “In 2010 and 2011, Youku, Tudou and Sohu TV ranked the top three by market share. Some video websites have begun to tap into TV drama production, extending towards the upstream industrial chain.”

A number of state restrictions has led to a decline in the overall number of foreign dramas on air in China. But of those on-air, Thailand has overtaken South Korea as the second most popular foreign producer, with Hong Kong still in first place.

The report said: “Presently, Chinese TV dramas are oversupplied, while excellent works are still in short supply, with the prices ever rising.”

In terms of drama production, in 2011 there were 4,678 drama production companies, with the top 10 contributing to 11% of the total output.

The biggest producers include Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, Zhejiang Huace Film & TV, and Zhejiang Hai Run Movies & TV.

The report added: “At present, driven by the market demand, some powerful Chinese drama production institutions are starting to adopt the high-quality strategy. Through the innovations in production and marketing, they raise profitability effectively. Major companies have set foot in the capital market to provide financial support for the future development.”


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