iQiyi Launches Six Original Southeast Asian Series, Amid Passionate Streaming Competition

In Asia, the global streaming giants Netflix

and Disney + have affirmed their ambitions in markets such as South Korea, Japan and Indonesia. In addition to existing content libraries, they launched original content produced in collaboration with local filmmakers, with the aim of conquering a new wave of subscribers. However, in the face of such fierce competition, local regional platforms still remain a formidable force. They pride themselves on existing links with Asian content ecosystems, as well as a deep and nuanced understanding of the region’s consumer habits and cultural sensitivities. iQiyi is one such regional platform, with over 103 million subscribers worldwide in the third quarter of this year.

Founded by Baidu, the company behind China’s online search engine, iQiyi operates on a freemium model, which means they have both paid subscribers and ad-supported users. While Netflix and Disney + have avoided the politically complicated Chinese market, iQiyi is able to operate there. The streamer also shared that the global viewing time of its Chinese content on the platform has quadrupled in 2021, compared to 2020.

The five most watched dramas in the world (excluding anime) on the iQiyi platform include four Chinese dramas and one Korean drama. from mainland China Unforgettable love appeared in this list, with My dear guardian, Love Landscape and Forever and ever. Korean drama My roommate is a Gumiho was also included in the list of the top five in the world.

At the Asia TV Forum & Market held in Singapore, iQiyi announced the launch of six new Southeast Asian originals in 2022. Identifying Malaysia as a key regional market with continued growth, iQiyi will work with five local Malaysian production houses – Longhouse Films, MIG Productions, Tsar Asia, Juita Viden and Infinitus Entertainment – to launch five original series next year.

Among Southeast Asian audiences, Chinese and Korean dramas still reigned in the top five of the most watched list, but iQiyi said two Thai dramas managed to make the top five for that region: historical romance Wanthong and sitcom Tor Pen. iQiyi will launch its first original Thai drama next year, named KinnPorsche: the series. He also pointed out that with over 12 million downloads this year, Thai iQiyi users spent twice as much time watching shows than last year and were 20 times more likely to watch Thai content on the platform.

In Indonesia, where global streaming platforms Netflix and Disney + (Hotstar) have paid special attention and resources to claim a greater share of the domestic streaming market, iQiyi recorded more than 10 million downloads in 2021. Chinese Drama Unforgettable love was on iQiyi Indonesia’s top five list, alongside Korean dramas Love revolution and My roommate is a Gumiho.

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