Why China’s Short Drama Boom Matters for Luxury |
Douyin’s dramatic short Love beyond words accumulated 330 million views.
It’s no secret that China’s short video platforms – which include Douyin de Bytedance (TikTok’s predecessor in the Chinese market), Bilibili, and Kuaishou – are becoming virtually impossible for luxury brands to ignore. Every day, 600 million use Douyin and over 300 million Kuaishou, and where both apps were initially just places for young audiences to hang out, they are also increasingly becoming places to shop. According to the Financial Times, the gross value of all goods sold in Kuaishou in the third quarter of this year increased 86% year-on-year to 175.8 billion RMB ($ 27.6 billion).
But in addition to deciding whether or not to offer some form of e-commerce through short video platforms, luxury brands now have to decide how best to present themselves in front of an audience addicted to short videos. A growing trend that brands are increasingly considering as part of their marketing mix in China is short, largely “vertical” dramas, programs lasting just a few minutes that use a vertical format easily seen on smartphones. While this trend has never really taken off in the West, with the massively publicized American platform Quibi shutting down after just six months, in China they remain more popular than ever. According to Chinese-language media, the short dramatic films on Kuaishou attracted 210 million Daily Active Users (DAUs) in April 2021, of which nearly 10% were “heavy viewers.” Something of a shorthand successor to the lifestyle dramas that have dominated streaming platforms for the past two years – which have provided luxury brands with marketing opportunities as well as bad PR threats – the short dramas. could provide a way for luxury brands to take advantage of a rapidly growing media segment at a relatively lower cost. But these opportunities do not come without caveats.
Similar to miniature episodic television serials, dramatic short films have a relatively long history (by internet standards) in China, with Kuaishou among the first to introduce the format with its 2013 series. Never expected (万万没 想到). Yet dramatic short films have taken nearly five years to hit their stride, steadily gaining viewers’ interest over the past three years. In 2020, China’s powerful media regulator, the National Administration of Radio and Television (NRTA), officially began including dramatic short films – which it defined as programs with episodes of less than 10 years. minutes – under his supervision. Continue reading the full article here