New media companies shine at China's evolving documentary industry

Xinhua| 2020-04-20 12:05:42|Editor: Wang Xiaoyu
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BEIJING, April 18 (Xinhua) -- New media platforms are reshaping China's documentary industry, ushering in a new era of vigorous development, said Zhang Tongdao, director of the Documentary Center with Beijing Normal University.

There is a rapid growth of new media companies in the documentary market, according to an annual study report of the development of Chinese documentary in 2020, which was released Saturday by the center, the China Intercontinental Communication Center and other institutions.

China's total investment in documentary making was 5.04 billion yuan (about 710 million U.S. dollars) last year, and the country was blessed with 6.66 billion yuan in total output value, according to the report.

"More and more documentaries are broadcast on the internet, even only on the internet media, which complement those aired on television," Zhang said.

Some documentaries, including "Flavorful Origins: Chaoshan Cuisine" by Tencent video and the second season of "The Story Of Chuaner" by video-sharing platform Bilibili, gained the brand value in 2019 through exclusive streaming on the platforms.

The report also showed that the documentary production capacity of new media companies reached a new height in 2019.

Last year, Tencent produced 23 documentaries on its own, accounting for about one-third of its total online projects throughout the year. Bilibili produced and launched 16 documentaries, totaling 55.6 hours, while iQiyi, also an online platform, produced or co-produced 15 documentaries, said the report.

The report added that documentary producers and streamers are also foraying into the short video field, varying versions such as shorter or longer in length for different platforms.